Mason women’s shortstop talks goals, life as a college athlete

Being sidelined by a serious injury is one of the most frustrating ordeals a student athlete can go through. For Liz Seymour, an injury sustained on the basketball court ended her goal of playing D1 college basketball – and opened up an opportunity for her to shine on the softball field.

During her junior year of high school, Liz Seymour was going up for a layup when she fell to the ground, hurting her back. Upon examining Seymour’s back, doctors decided she had experienced muscle bruising. Soon after her initial injury, however, Seymour was playing a softball game when, sliding into third base, she experienced acute back pain. After yet another doctor visit, Seymour learned she had fractured both sides  of her L3 vertebra.

After this setback, which happened in October 2012, Seymour spent three and a half months in a brace.

“That was really frustrating — not playing,” Seymour said.

However, Seymour showed the world just how strong she was, stepping back onto the softball field that March — just six short months after her injury.

**I think it takes you a little too long to get to her college experience. Like maybe plug something up higher about her trying out for college teams, because for me that seemed career ending and it took a little too long to show me that it wasn’t. -AR

Before she hurt her back, Seymour had been considering playing D1 college basketball. She realized after her injury, however, that basketball would put too much pressure on her body, so she began trying out for college softball teams instead.

Now, three years later, Seymour is a sophomore information technology major here at Mason, tearing it up on the softball diamond for Mason’s women’s softball team. Shortstop and second baseman, Seymour hit the team’s first home run of the season against Georgetown University on March 23, leading the team to another victory.

Fourth Estate sat down with Seymour to chat about softball, Mason and life as a college athlete.

FE: What has been your favorite thing about Mason so far?

LS: Definitely the athlete atmosphere. In high school, you hang out with people who don’t necessarily love the game they’re playing. They’re just there because it’s high school and they [have] to play. When you’re at college I feel like everyone wants to be here. I feel like it’s a better atmosphere than when you’re in high school or travel ball.

FE: How have you seen yourself progress during your year with the program?

LS: Coming from high school ball to college, there is a little bit of a change. I definitely think that after last year my confidence went up a lot. I actually say my opinion out loud [now] and [try] not be the innocent little freshman scared to talk. This year I’ve been more vocal … so that’s definitely been progress.

FE: Have you experienced any major surprises so far this season?

LS: Not too much, to be honest with you. We’re starting to figure out hitting the ball, and our defense needs to get stronger, but it’s a work in progress.

FE: What do you want to see out of yourself this season?

LS: Out of myself, I definitely want to improve my fielding percentage and have less error as the season goes on. And, just keep up my hitting because I think my hitting is my stronger ability, so I need to keep that consistent throughout the season.

FE: What do you want to see out of the team this season?

LS: I definitely want to win the A-10 [Championship]. I think we have a really good shot; we have a great team. We definitely want to be higher than our preseason ranking. I think we were supposed to get fifth in the conference, but I think we can get higher than that. That’s something I’m striving for personally, but I know our team is too.

The team has been practicing extensively for the championship. Coaches have been focusing on defensive skills, Seymour said, noting that defense is something that they have been emphasizing for the players. Seymour also said she wants to see the team continue to play a solid offense in addition to improving its defense.

MENTION GAME against UMass. Before the UMass game, Seymour recognized what she hoped to see in the team.> will be updated Sunday, CH

FE: What do you want to see from your team during your game against UMass on April 2?

LS: I want to see us keep hitting the ball, because we’ve been making good contact, and get ahead in the first inning … [W]e are a better team when we get out and we’re having fun and we’re scoring. It doesn’t put as much pressure on our pitchers, either.

FE: Do you have any pre-game rituals?

LS: We hacky, like hacky sack, but we don’t really have too many pre-game rituals. We do have a couple superstitious girls, though. Yesterday, our pitchers threw a combined perfect game and literally Sarah [Kleinfelter] was like, “you need to sit right there on that bench! You can’t move!”

FE: Walk me through a typical day as a college athlete.

LS: Tuesdays are my worst days because I go [to class from] 9 to 10:15, then 10:30 to 1:15. Then I go to lift at 1:30. Then we go outside at 2:30 until about 5 p.m. [for practice]. And, then I go in and I see our trainer, and she does stuff with my arm and my back. I usually get an ice bath, and then I go home. I eat somewhere in between there.

Though it’s been three years since her fracture, Seymour still has to be careful about avoiding further injuries.

FE: What’s one thing you do with your teammates during your spare time?

LS: We’ll literally be with each other from 12 to 5 p.m. then we’ll go get food. Usually, teams get like “I can’t stand you, I don’t want to be with you anymore,” but we don’t get like that.

While it seems like Seymour could not fit anything else into her schedule, she said she still finds time to grab cheese fries from Manhattan Pizza with her teammates and binge watch Netflix.

FE: What have you been watching on Netflix?

LS: Oh my gosh, I watch multiple shows. “House of Cards” [is] a wonderful show. I’m on “House of Cards” right now. I feel like I’ve watched every Netflix thing I possibly could have.

The team will play Maryland-Eastern Shore in their next home game this Wednesday, April 6, at 3 p.m.