“God our Father, hear us pray…as we pause to play this game…give us strength and courage too…to do the best in all we do…”
Ringor: Tell us how you got started in softball!
Alyssa: I got started because I had been watching my sister play softball. I kept watching her and watching her and I liked it. Then one day she had a game and I asked my dad if I could play softball and he said yes and signed me up.
R: That’s awesome! How old is your sister?
A: She is 12 years old and I am 9 years old.
R: What team do you play for?
A: The (SoCal) Athletics!
R: Do you like playing for them?
A: Yeah, (laughs) I have a lot of fun.
R: What is your favorite thing about softball?
A: My favorite thing about softball is throwing the ball and I like diving and catching the ball. I like playing with my friends and backing them up when they need help.
R: That’s great! What position do you play?
A: I play mainly short, second, and catcher.
R: How did you get your start at shortstop?
A: Well, I played short since I was 8 years old. My coach put me there and I did well, so he kept me there.
R: What number do you like to wear?
A: I wear number 22! I wear it because there is a LA Dodger player that wears it. His name is Kershaw. My dad also likes calling me “Double Deuces” (laughs).
R: Do you have a favorite softball cheer?
A: Yeah, but it’s actually a prayer.
R: Oh, it’s a prayer?! Can you say it for me?
A: Yeah, “God our Father, hear us pray…as we pause to play this game…give us strength and courage too…to do the best in all we do…”
R: That is so awesome! Other than cheers or prayers, what other ways do you and your teammates encourage or uplift each other?
A: I like them because they are nice to me. And when I strike out, I am sad and mad, so they tell me, “It’s okay, you’ll get it next time.” And when they tell me that, I get a walk, or a bunt, or a hit. I do good because they cheer me on and on.
R: To you, what is the best thing about having teammates?
A: The best thing about having teammates is that they back you up and when you need them, they will be right there for you.
R: I agree! What is your favorite flavor of sunflower seeds?
A: Crack pepper!
R: What is your go-to tournament snack?
A: During games, I like to eat these little energy gummies. They help you play hard. I also drink Gatorade. I also love hotdogs!
R: Which do you prefer: hitting and running the bases or playing defense?
A: I like to play in the field.
R: What is it about playing in the field that you like better?
A: The thing I like about fielding is that you get to catch the ball and throw it and your teammates get to back you up and all that.
R: What is something you have been working on to get ready for the season?
A: Umm, my catching and a lot of blocking.
R: Good job! What do you like to do when you aren’t playing?
A: I like to cheer my teammates on when I’m sitting, but between games I like to listen to music and hang out with my family.
R: When you are in a slump and struggling to hit or throw, what helps you to get out of it?
A: When I am struggling hitting, I watch the person after me to see what they are doing right. I think about it in my head and say that I need to do that and I do that and I get better.
R: That’s awesome! Is there anyone, whether it’s a coach, parent, or teammate that you go to when you aren’t doing well?
R: How long has he been your coach?
A: Forever, because he is my dad.
R: Oh my goodness, he is your dad?! That is so cool!
A: Yeah! (laughs)
R: Well, what would you like to do when you grow up?
A: I want to be a softball player. My dad is teaching me how to bunt lefty and hit lefty because when you are a professional, you have to know how to do everything.
R: Do you have a favorite team you like to watch?
A: I like UCLA.
R: Is there a specific player you like?
A: Yeah, one of their catchers!
R: Do you think that when you get older, you will focus more on catching?
A: (laughs) yeah!
R: That’s what I was thinking! Who would you say is your hero and how have they helped you in your life?
A: My hero would be my dad because he helps me out a lot with practicing and stuff. I ask him, “Dad, do you want to go practice? I need to learn how to do this and do that.” Then he helps me…and he doesn’t give up.
R: He doesn’t give up?
R: Is that “Don’t Give Up” mentality something that you have learned from him through softball?
R: What has been the biggest challenge or struggle that you have had to overcome in softball?
A: When I am playing infield or shortstop, it’s hard to dive and get the ball…like when it’s far away and you can’t get to it. I am working on that.
R: That is great to hear. Now, let’s switch gears a little bit. What is your favorite color?
R: Fun! Has that always been your favorite color?
R: What about your favorite movie?
A: I would say “Jumanji”!
R: In three words, how would you describe yourself outside of softball?
A: Helpful. Loving. Supportive.
R: Great word choices! What about you on the field…would you choose three different words?
A: Yep…Helpful. Encouraging….and I am not sure about the last one.
R: That’s okay. If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?
A: The superpower that I would want is to…see a lot of stuff. I would want to see the future.
R: If you were stuck on an island and could only bring three things, what would you choose?
A: Water. Food. And a safety kit.
R: Wow, you would be so prepared! Who would you bring with you?
A: My mom.
R: What is it about your mom that you love?
A: Somethings about my mom that I love is that she helps me with my homework, she loves me, and she likes me how I am. She likes me without make up or anything. She likes me how I am.
R: You are so sweet! What songs do you like to dance to?
A: I like the whip and the nae nae song.
R: Do you listen to music to prepare for games?
A: Yeah, I listen to the whip and the nae nae song and “bet you can’t do it like me”.
R: Sounds fun! Do you have any pets?
A: We have a yorkie teacup! His name is Colfax. From the Dodgers, Sandy Colfax!
R: You must be a Dodgers fan!
R: Do you go to any Dodgers games?
A: Yeah. I go with my grandma. When she goes, I go. I bring my glove when we sit behind the outfield to catch the ball. My favorite thing about the games is that we get to watch them and if they hit the ball, we get to watch them score and win.
R: Who is your favorite Dodger player?
A: Gonzales! I used to play first base and my number was 23, just like him. He hits hard and he runs the bases hard. He goes all out and is a hard worker.
R: Is his work ethic something that you would like to continue to work towards in softball?
R: That’s great. A few more questions! What does being #softballstrong mean to you?
A: #Softballstrong, to me, means to be ready and be active and have a lot of fun.
R: That’s a great answer. Now, you wear our Ringor Diamond Dynasty Molded softball cleats. Do you enjoy wearing them?
A: I love them! They are comfy and they help me run fast.
R: Well Alyssa, we had a lot of fun learning about you today. Before we go, is there anybody that you would like to give a shout out to?
A: Yeah, my dad, my mom, my grandma and grandpa, and all my family! I love them!
Photos Courtesy of ILY Marie Photography