Andrew Frosceno, Staff Writer:
For Lady Owls softball player Alyssa Downs, it was the influence of her parents that gave her the inspiration
to play softball back when she was just a young child.
Downs, who starts at third base and is the Owls’ clean-up hitter,
said that her parents are what led her to take up the sport.
“My parents played when they were younger,” Downs said. “ They got me into it and I have loved playing softball ever since.”
According to the team website,
Downs has started all 19 of the Lady Owls games so far and is hitting with a .367 average with 18 RBI’s and four homeruns.
It’s that run production that sophomore infielder Kristin Whitley
says makes Downs invaluable to the team.
“She is our clean-up hitter so her job is to drive in runs and she really does that job well for us,” Whitley said.
Downs’s lifelong best friend and teammate at Seymour High School, Kristin Greco, who attends Keene State University, said she knew for a long time that Downs had collegiate level talent.
“Alyssa was pretty much the best player on our team, she hit the ball well and was essential in the field,” Greco said. “I knew as early as freshman year that she would play in college, plus to go along with the talent, she has a pure love for the game.”
For Downs, there is one person
she really looks up to when it comes to softball; her sister, who was a star softball player at the University of New Haven.
“My sister is an amazing softball
player as well as an awesome sister,” Downs said. “She always encourages me to do better; I love her passion for the game.”
Alyssa’s teammates, both past and present, rave about her ability to be a quality teammate on and off the field.
“She was like a superstar on every team we were on together growing up,” Greco said. “But you wouldn’t know it because she was so down to earth and helped anyone on the team who needed it. She was the best teammate to have in high school.”
Whitley said she shared the same feelings about Downs.
“On and off the field she is a great person to be around,” Whitley
said. “On the field she leads by example by showing people the way things should be done and off the field she helps anyone who comes her way.”
For Downs, there was one thing that led her to really start leaning toward accepting an offer from Southern- the coaching staff.
“Originally I wanted to go to another college,” Downs said. “But then I saw the dorms, academic buildings and met the coaching staff. I then knew I wanted to come here to Southern.”
This being Downs’s sophomore
season, both her and Whitley expect a lot from her on the field this season.
“I expect her to continue to be both an offensive and defensive powerhouse,” Whitley said. “She is going to drive in a lot of runs for us.”
Downs said she expects herself to continue to work hard during practice and games so the Lady Owls can come out with some wins.
Downs said there is one more thing she needs to start doing more of this season.
“I need to step up and start taking on more of a leadership role on the field.”
Lady Owl Watch: third baseman Alyssa Downs
Andrew Frosceno, Staff Writer: