By David Krueger Herald Writer
Alexis Dittoe is one of three returning starters from last year’s Everett softball team that finished second at the 3A state tournament. She is one of the elders on a team that features three seniors and Dittoe, the lone junior. “She’s a strong workhorse,” said Seagulls head coach Megan Semore. “She’s consistent in everything that she does. She’s really stepped up this year to be a great leader on our team. To see her mature in a way, we’re lucky to have her back next year.” The three-year varsity player works as hard in school as she does on the diamond, participating in the ORCA (Ocean Research College Academy) program, a running-start style program at Everett Community College.
Q: It’s another beautiful day, with the rain pouring down. How’s the weather been for you guys this year?
A: We’ve had a lot of rainouts, which is kind of a bummer, because then we have to go re-do games. But there have been really pretty days too. Then it’s really fun to play softball.
Q: How has that affected the softball team? Do you guys have to play several games in a row?
A: It was a little bit rocky at the beginning of the season playing so many games in a row. But after a while we got used to it. It’s kind of relaxing now.
Q: When you guys have gotten to play, how has the season gone?
A: The season, again was a little bit rocky at the beginning, but we’ve been jelling as a team recently, which has been really sweet because the girls are really nice and it’s a really good personality and chemistry mix.
Q: You have a pretty new, young team this year right? How many players have returned from last year’s squad?
A: Yeah. Three.
Q: Wow. So you’re pretty much a brand new team?
A: (Laughs.) Yeah.
Q: What was it like going to state last year and playing in the championship game?
A: It was amazing. The group of girls was awesome. We were really a well-oiled machine. It was an awesome experience.
Q: Do you have some street cred this year having been to the state championship?
A: (Laughs.) I don’t actually know. I really don’t know.
Q: I think you should. Did that experience help you this year at all, having played in big games like that?
A: Yeah. It really helps. The game really is 90-percent mental so it does help having more experience and knowing what to do and just be able to help other players along.
Q: Off the field, how is school going?
A: School’s really fun. I’m in the ORCA program and that’s a really, really fun experience. It’s really different, so it’s kind of hard to juggle both school and softball because I go on boat trips and research trips and I’ve got to figure out how to balance the two. And it’s so much more homework than normal.
Q: So you go on trips around Puget Sound?
A: Yeah, we go on boat trips once a month to do research in the Sound. And we go on beach trips to do research. It’s a really fun time.
Q: Is that kind of what you want to do when you’re older?
A: I just tried it out and marine science is awesome. It’s really fun for me. And I’ll be able to graduate with my (Associate’s) degree, which is really good because then I can just go to college and figure out what I want to do.
Q: Do you get a summer vacation?
A: No. (Laughs.) I actually have a job at a camp over the summer so I’m going to be working all summer at a church camp in Idaho. So that should be fun.
Q: So you don’t get much of a break?
A: I actually don’t get a break. I leave the day school ends and I get back two weeks before school starts.
Q: What do you do in your free time? If you have any free time.
A: I really don’t have free time. I pretty much go to school, do softball and do homework. And I teach preschool but that’s pretty much it.
Q: If you had free time, how do you imagine you’d spend it?
A: I like to go four-wheeling in the mountains with my dad and my dog. We hang out up there, we go camping. That kind of stuff.
Q: I think that we heard you are in choir or you were in choir?
Q: Oh OK, band. What instrument do you play?
A: I play the clarinet.
Q: What’s your favorite song right now to jam to?
A: Um. That’s a really great question and I really don’t know.
Q: I’m kind of known for my good questions.
A: Probably “Home” by Phillip Phillips.
Q: What are your goals for your junior year of softball, with such a young team?
A: Just for everyone to have a really great experience because I know that it’s sometimes harder to come up as a freshman and just start varsity playing against the girls that are so much older. But just for everyone to have a great experience. It really is just supposed to be a fun thing to do in high school.
Q: Do you think it’ll help you guys next year, having so much of the same people back and not have almost a brand new team?
A: I think it will, yeah. I think we’ve jelled as a team by the end of the season, so it will be easier to come back next year and know exactly what everyone’s roles are on the team and where we can go.