Seymour's Reid Ballard commits to UT-Martin

Mar. 06, 2014 @ 06:53 PM

Seymour’s Reid Ballard will play Division I softball.
The sophomore said she verbally committed to the University of Tennessee at Martin two weeks ago.
 “They offered me a scholarship and I was like, ‘No need to wait,’ ” Ballard said. “I love the school. I love their facilities. I was just like, ‘I need to take it cause I just need to follow my heart.’ ”
The catcher helped the Eagles to the state tournament last year, batting .319 in 37 games. She had 30 hits, 22 RBI, three doubles and three homers. Ballard is the second member of the 2014 member who plans on playing Division I softball after Lauren Irwin signed with Tennessee in the fall.
Ballard said she discussed her decision with her parents and sister and thought about it for a few days. After visiting the Skyhawks, she said the school felt like home. UT-Martin is 7-10-1 so far this season.
“(The coaches) really treat you like you’re their own kid,” Ballard said. “I’ve gone up there a couple times and visited them. They make sure you’re OK. They make sure you have everything you need. Their facilites are great. Their school is top-notch.”
Ballard said she wants to study forensics. On the softball field she'll be following the lead of her dad, Matt. The elder Ballard was a catcher at Tennessee Tech, which plays in Ohio Valley Conference with UT-Martin.
For now, like most athletes who commit so early, the sophomore said the pressure is off her back.
“Knowing that someone wants me and I’m committed to them, it helps you,” Reid Ballard said. “A big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. This sophomore summer is the summer to be seen. …Knowing that I don’t have to worry about whose watching me or if there’s a coach in the stands, you know what I mean? I’m here to impress the coaches that I’m going to play for. I’m going to be at my best but (at) the same time I have fun.”