Nicole Spykstra plays center field on instincts and vision.
There is no crack of the bat to rely on to track down balls for Hamilton.
And it clearly does not matter.
The senior was born with a partial hearing loss, which wasn’t diagnosed until she was 4, so that cliché of doesn’t apply to Spykstra.
“I am a very visual person,” she said after helping the Huskies’ to their first state title on Monday. “I see how the ball hits off the bat and I go for it.”
Spkystra had a great postseason in center as she made two diving catches – one going to her left and one to her right – in previous games before tracking down a ball on the warning track in Monday’s 3-0 win over Pinnacle.
The Pioneers had two runners on in a scoreless game when Marissa Schuld connected on a ball that appeared to be destined to one hop the fence, but Spykstra’s long strides and first step allowed her to make the catch while extending her glove hand just enough for the third out.
“I knew Nicole had it,” Hamilton winning pitcher Madison Seigworth said. “I know she has my back on anything hit out there.”
Spykstra, who added a sacrifice fly for the team’s third run, said she had a bead on the ball from the start.
“I knew I had it,” she said. “I had a lot of confidence that I could get to it. I go hard for every ball. I made two diving plays in the playoffs. I do it for my teammates because I don’t want to let them down.”
While others may have been unsure of the Huskies’ rise to state title, Spykstra saw it coming from the start.
“I had a vision that we had a vey good chance,” said Spykstra, who has hearing aids, but did not use them in the title game. “Every one of these girls worked hard, and I was like this is the team I was going to do it.”
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