Reed City senior eager to test skills at catcher's spot

REED CITY — Nikki Smith is a new face to the Reed City softball roster but brings valuable varsity experience to the Coyotes.

Smith, a senior, is a transfer from Benzie Central, where she played softball two seasons for varsity and one for JV.

“They were a really solid team and it was a disappointment I had to leave. I think they’ll be an all right team,” said Smith who transferred for family reasons.

For three Huskies, Smith was a catcher and called herself an “average” hitter.

As a catcher, “I have a very strong arm and I can utilize it in many different ways,” Smith said.

She’s been a catcher since middle school.

“I volunteered and I’ve been there since,” Smith said. “You get to watch the whole game. You get to call shots.”

Under the system at Benzie Central, Smith recalls that if the coach was focusing on other areas of the game, she would call pitches from her catcher’s spot. Smith feels comfortable with that assignment if she gets it.

During the offseason, Smith worked on her game.

“The cages were open every day after school,” she said, adding that she’s “pretty much” ready to go.

“It’s different, but they’ve made me feel at home here,” Smith said.

Like any other softball player, Smith is anxious to get outdoors.

“The outdoor factor with the dirt will be a lot better with your cleats, instead of tennis shoes on wood floors,” Smith said.

Smith has had a chance to work with Reed City’s No. 1 pitcher Julianne Griffin.

“She’s a good pitcher,” Smith said, adding that when it comes to batting, she’ll be focusing on techniques.

The Coyotes have their scheduled opener for Thursday at home with Pine River.