Chiles' Baker continues FSU legacy

Chiles' Baker continues FSU legacy

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Chiles' Baker continues FSU legacy

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Here’s a not-so-very-big shocker: Katie Baker is going to play softball at Florida State.

Those who have seen Baker grow up on local softball fields (and even at Dick Howser Stadium) have probably always thought she would play at FSU. On Wednesday evening, she made it official when she announced it via her Twitter page.

“Y’all know I couldn’t go anywhere else,” Baker posted. “Officially committed to play ball at THE Florida State University!”

Baker is a junior shortstop at Chiles who is already a three-time All-Big Bend first-team selection. (She earned the honor as an 8th-grader at Maclay.) She was also a first-team All-State selection as a sophomore.

Last season, she helped power the Timberwolves to the Class 7A state championship game. She also helped Team North Florida, a travel team based out of Ocala, to a top-10 finish at ASA Nationals this past summer.

But Baker’s roots in local softball and FSU sports run deep. Her mom, Julie, earned a spot in Florida State’s Hall of Fame as a star pitcher for the Seminoles. Her dad, Chip, served for years as an assistant coach for the FSU baseball team and is now the program’s director of operations.

Katie Baker informed her parents Wednesday night of her choice, and waited just two hours after receiving her scholarship offer to share the news with the world.

“I felt like it was about time to be a Seminole,” Baker said.

In truth, she’s always been a Seminole. With that kind of upbringing, how could she avoid it?

But Baker said her parents encouraged her to consider other schools even though she wasn’t exactly receptive to recruiting pitches made by other programs.

“A few other schools tried to recruit me,” Baker said. “I didn’t really tell them I wanted to (go to Florida State). Most of them already knew.”

Baker was a standout as a pitcher until two years ago when a back injury forced her to quit pitching and playing catcher. She plays in the outfield and at third base for Team North Florida in addition to her shortstop duties at Chiles.

She said she’s not yet sure what position she will play at FSU.

“I’m hoping for a spot in the infield,” Baker said. “If not, maybe the outfield.”

She also said she hopes to major in either business or communications.

And, yes, she said she had other reasons for picking FSU other than simply growing up around the program.

“I love the coaches there,” Baker said. “I love the girls there and the future recruits.”

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