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Suffolk Softball Sensations: Alyssa Monteverde
West Islip junior pitcher Alyssa Monteverde, last season’s League II Rookie of the Year, is leading the way for the first place League III Lions (8-2) this season, with a 7-1 record, to go along with a 1.20 ERA, 52 strikeouts, 54 hits and 12 walks.
“From her first game, she’s had that poise where nothing ever flustered her,” West Islip coach Michelle Jantzen said. “No matter what the situation, whether it be a home run given up, or a strikeout. She gets back in the circle with the same composure. Same face. She’s by far one of the leaders by example and our go-to player defensively.”
Monteverde discussed in a quick question and answer session what makes her one of the county’s toughest pitchers to face in the circle, while telling us how she goes about her business during pre-games, and what she likes to do for fun. After defeating Hauppauge, 5-3, in the first round of the Suffolk Class AA playoffs last season, Monteverde rehashed some memorable moments in that ballgame.
1) What’s your favorite go-to pitch in a big spot? “My favorite and best pitch is the curveball. In any count, I can go to it. I throw five pitches—fastball, changeup, curveball, screwball and drop ball.”
2) Biggest out in the biggest game of your career was against who? “Getting the three-batter out on a fly ball to centerfield with a runner on first base in the final inning against Hauppauge in last season’s playoffs.”
3) What’s the greatest play you’ve been a part of or have seen a Lions’ teammate execute? “[Junior right fielder] Shannon Cronin’s diving catch in that Hauppauge playoff game, just laid out on the right field line, for the first out in the seventh.”
4) Explain the success this season for West Islip? “We’re staying focused on the game, putting runs on the board early and playing each situation as it comes to us.”
5) What’s your favorite iPod song? “'Alive' by Krewella. It gets me pumped up for the game.”
6) Why did you choose to pitch over the other positions? “I’ve been playing softball for eight years and it’s exciting. Anything can happen. I like pitching because you can set the tone for the game.”
7) Who is the most vocal member of West Islip? "Stevianne Ognibene (senior, centerfielder, four-year starter). She just is involved in every play. An intense player. Her catch-line is ‘Go right at em’, ‘Go 1-3’, ‘Throw your pitch’.
8) What do you do to get ready for a game? Any superstitions? “I wear the same little zebra headband for game days. I’ve been wearing it for the first time this season. It just works.”
9) What career job would you most want to hold? “Forensic Investigator.”
10) Favorite movie? “'Pitch Perfect' (2012). It’s hysterical. A funny singing movie.”
11) The nickname teammates refer to you by is? “Monte. I guess because my last name is a lot longer. I don’t mind it.”
12) Three places you would love to visit that you haven’t been to yet? “Bora Bora, Italy and Paris.”
13) If you were the coach of your team for a day, what would you do? “Play softball games in practice.”
14) If you were to have a dinner date with any three people, who would they be? "New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, One Direction Singer Harry Styles, actress Jennifer Lawrence."