Southeast softball player becomes a member of the soccer team
Renee Kertz played softball for four years at Southeast Missouri State University. This year, she has transitioned to playing goalie for the Southeast women's soccer team while it tries to defend its Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title.
Kertz, a graduate of Notre Dame High School in St. Louis, started in all 214 games during her four-season stint with the Redhawks. As a senior, she drove in a team-high 45 runs, fourth most in the OVC. As a junior, Kertz also tied the Redhawks' school record with 132 career RBIs, and was named second-team All-OVC with a .328 batting average. She also set the school record with 48 RBIs her junior season and helped lead the team within one victory of an NCAA Tournament.
The team was picked to finish second in the preseason OVC poll. The Redhawks have a record of 1-4-1. Kertz has started in goal twice and has recorded 11 saves.
Kertz is studying for a degree in exercise science and pre-physical therapy. She will graduate in December.
Q: How did you like playing softball at Southeast?
A: I loved playing softball, and I love to compete. All of the girls and coaches are great, and Southeast has been good to me, too. I don't regret anything at all.
Q: Do you have any specific memories during your softball career?
A: It was when we were going to play Jacksonville my junior year. We never won, but we took it in extra innings and beat them. We picked someone off at second base.
Q: Why did you transition from softball to soccer?
A: I knew the soccer team was down a goalie, and they needed someone. So I decided to stay and take pre-requisites to finish out school and play soccer while I'm doing it.
Q: With some of the team gone from last year, how does the team adapt to that?
A: There's a good amount of returners and a lot of new people as well.
Q: How do you think the soccer team is going to do?
A: I think we're going to do really well. The expectations are there, and it depends on how bad the team wants it this year.
Q: Who stands out as an individual on the team?
A: Well they've all been very helpful as teammates. The other goalie has been very helpful. Hayley [Abbott] is helpful with all the other three backs.
Q: What are you most excited for this season?
A: I'm excited to start conference games. We get to play a few big schools, so it'll be exciting this year.
Q: How do you expect to play in the Tropical Smoothie Invitational in Lexington, Ky. where the team will face Louisville and Kentucky?
A: I expect us to play well and make a statement as a team overall.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of the classroom and soccer?
A: I enjoy doing anything sport-related, but I love the St. Louis Cardinals. I like to go to my parents' cabin in St. Genevieve [Mo.]. I'm also from St. Louis so I try to see my friends when I can, but it's hard with sports going on at Southeast.
Q: Do you have a rival in soccer?
A: I would say Morehead State, but I don't really know.
Q: Do you do anything superstitious?
A: It's kind of gross but I trim my toenails before every game, and I like to listen to inspirational things on YouTube and just listen to music. I'm not too superstitious.
Q: As a whole, are you girls pretty close on the soccer team?
A: Any team has a certain family feeling really, so we're all pretty close.