Alexis Alleman plays softball for Olympic gold medalist
Here's one thing Alexis Alleman hasn't done: Earned a starting role on Shippensburg's varsity softball team.
But that list pretty much ends there.
Listing what the 15-year-old has done is more time consuming.
Alleman's been to a Jennie Finch camp; she was invited by three-time Olympic gold medalist Leah O'Brien-Amico to play on an American Council International Studies (ACIS) team; and she's now officially a world traveler.
The rising Lady Hound sophomore recently returned from a stint playing for O'Brien-Amico in a six-game escapade across Italy. After standing out at Finch's camp in 2014 to earn the invite, Alleman continued that trend on America's Team (18U). The squad went 5-1 in a series of three doubleheaders, and Alleman earned two victories on the mound.
"It was amazing over there," Alleman said. "I'm not a history person, and I don't understand a lot of stuff in history class. But being there made it seem cool. Softball-wise, if we would do something in the field, (Leah) would be there to talk to us as soon as we got in the dugout. She was always giving us advice or pumping us up."
Although Alleman's time in Italy lasted just six games and nine days, the journey was much longer.
When Alleman was just 13 years old, her parents gave her the opportunity of a lifetime - a trip to a two-day Jennie Finch camp in which she could meet and learn from Olympic gold medalists as well as be introduced to young softball players around the country.
What happened there, no one expected.
An outfielder all of her life, it's no surprise that Alleman felt particularly comfortable at that station of the camp. The station was coached by O'Brien-Amico, who was looking for candidates for her 2016 ACIS softball team to play in Italy. Alleman caught her eye.
"I definitely saw her ability," O'Brien-Amico said. "When you have an entire camp with hundreds of athletes, you can really see the girls there that are at a higher level. What I loved about Alexis was her intensity that she brought, but also the smile on her face that I could tell she loved the game.
"It was a complete joy to work with her for a week (in Italy) and get to know those qualities even better."
Alleman said, "I've been an outfielder since I started travel ball when I was 10. It's been five years, and I've learned things to do, especially diving and sliding in the outfield. I guess doing those things, she noticed that."
Alleman was one of just 15 girls selected to play for America's Team, and only one of two from Pennsylvania.
"That's huge, and that's something she'll have for the rest of her life," said Quincy Lewis, who is a Shippensburg University student and Alleman's pitching coach. "It's just amazing that she has the maturity to be able to stand out at a camp like that. The fact that she's standing out where there are 17- and 18-year-olds that are going (to Division I schools) performing, at her age is huge."
Alleman said, "It was pretty awesome (to be selected). I had never really talked to an Olympian before then. Whenever I picture an Olympian, I picture a big person that maybe will sign something then move on, but they really tried to talk to us. If we had a problem or didn't understand something, they were always there to help us."
Alleman didn't disappoint on O'Brien-Amico's team, either. Not only did she take two victories in the circle, but she played in all four other games, spending time at all three outfield positions.
"I liked that she was willing to play wherever I needed her, and she was so versatile," O'Brien-Amico said. "That's huge. She did a very nice job in the circle, and did great hitting as well. For me, she's solid all the way around offensively and defensively. I know she takes training very seriously, and I like her competitive spirit."
Lewis mentioned that soon Alleman will start the college recruiting process, and said Alleman has the potential to go Division I.
But for now, Alleman is simply focused on getting into that Lady Hound jersey.
"There were three girls that made it to varsity (during freshman year), and they were good ballplayers," Alleman said. "I just hope that I can meet that standard next year."