By: Kaela Sullivan, Media Relations Student Assistant -UC Davis
A fourth-year starting pitcher from San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Alex Holmes leads the nation in triples and already has a few Big West Softball Player and Pitcher of the Week awards under her belt. UCDavisAggies.com’s Kaela Sullivan had the opportunity to go to the La Rue Field dugout and talk with Holmes about the 2011 season, which is quickly becoming the best season of her life. She shared her high hopes for the rest of the season for herself and the team, and what life may have to offer after UC Davis softball.
In your own words, how is this season going for you guys?
So far, I think its been good. We’ve been playing really well. Our conference right now is really competitive, we’re all pretty even in strength, so its definitely been interesting. Everyone is at the same level right now so we have to work really hard and keep moving forward.
Obviously you’re having a good season. What do you think has been contributing to your success as a player this season?
I think it’s a lot of hard work. We work really hard in the offseason and in the summer, and in the fall we really focus on working hard for the season in the spring, so I think it has a lot to do with the prep work that we put in.
What’s it like to be leading the nation in triples this year, and how has your hitting allowed you to get so many triples?
Well, it feels awesome. It’s really interesting actually because I have never really been a triple hitter, so this is the first year that it has ever been like that. I think it has a lot to do, for some reason, with me finding that second gear rounding second. I don’t know what it is but maybe I’m faster, maybe I’m not? But maybe I’m just putting the ball in the right spot. I don’t know. But it feels good!
What is your most memorable moment with the team this year so far?
I think the most memorable moment was definitely opening up the season in Hawaii. It was a lot of fun and it was a really great experience and I think we all bonded. We got to get our season off to a great start.
What are some highlights from this season for you that you would like to share with us?
I would have to say that one of the highlights was when we were in Hayward, it was the last day of the tournament, we had a really tough game against San José State. It went into extra innings, which was fun. I think we battled really well in that game, and we never gave up and we just kept coming back no matter if they put a run up or if we put a run up. It just kept going back and forth which was a lot of fun. It was really competitive. So that was one of the most fun games in my opinion, so far.
By the end of the season, what do you want to accomplish on a personal level?
I want to be able to go to the postseason again. It was definitely a great experience last year. Personally I mean it would be great if I would get any kind of recognition that I got last year, but, it’s not really about that for me. It’s just about getting to postseason and focusing on how good our team can get.
What would you like the team to improve on for the rest of the season?
Definitely producing runs. We have lost a lot of 1-0, 2-0 ball games so far which is frustrating. So I think we really need to focus on getting runners on base and producing runs anyway we can. Whether it’s walking or getting hits, just pretty much extending innings so that we can put runners in.
How have you grown over the past 4 years as a player on this team?
It’s definitely been interesting because I came into this program my freshman year pretty much just as a pitcher. I didn’t really hit and I only had a limited amount of at-bats. And as the years have progressed, my role here has changed into more of, obviously the older pitcher, so the starting pitcher and also contributing to the offense more, which is nice, and it’s been fun. It’s been a learning experience and I’m glad that it’s gone where it’s gone so far.
As a senior this year, what are your plans after UC Davis and softball?
You know I’m not sure. I’m not graduating at the end if spring so I have another quarter of school. But softball wise, I’m not sure if I’m going to maybe look into playing in Europe or something like that but I definitely am thinking about maybe trying to volunteer and stay around next year and try to get coaching under my belt to see if maybe its something I want to do. So we will see.