Scarborough High softball coach Tom Griffin remembers the first time he pitched batting practice to Alyssa Williamson.
“She was in eighth grade and played a summer league game for me,” Griffin recalled. “In batting practice I got a chance to pitch to her, and I threw it everywhere and she could handle every type of pitch – in, out, high, low.”
Opposing SMAA pitchers quickly learned the same thing: Williamson was a tough out.
For the third straight year, the power-hitting Williamson did not strike out this spring. She batted .483 during the regular season and 17 of her 28 hits went for extra bases. She hit a school-record seven home runs and drove in 30 runs as the Red Storm went 16-0.
Williamson’s powerful bat, leadership and status as the ace of the Scarborough staff combined to make her the Maine Sunday Telegram Softball Player of the Year. As a pitcher, Williamson went 6-0 in the regular season with a 1.27 ERA.
She will attend Drexel University, where she said she’ll be used as a pitcher and designated hitter.
Also receiving strong consideration for the award were junior pitcher Bailey Tremblay and senior first baseman Erin Brayden from Western Class A champion Thornton Academy.
Williamson, who throws and bats left-handed, was also named Miss Maine Softball, Maine Gatorade Softball Player of the Year and the SMAA Player of the Year.
Her success stems from a decision she made as a young girl.
“When I was 8 years old I had been pitching for a year and I told my dad that my one goal was to be a Division I college pitcher, and I didn’t want to settle for less,” Williamson said.
With that goal in mind, she and her father, Bob, went to work. Williamson said she pitches and takes batting practice every day.
In her formative years, her father was her coach. Later he opened Maine Hits, an indoor training facility in Scarborough.
“He opened that when I was in eighth grade, mostly because of the fact he wouldn’t be my coach anymore. So now it’s awesome that I have that facility to use,” Williamson said.
“Both of my parents definitely do deserve a lot of credit,” she said. “They’ve helped me through just about every obstacle I’ve faced.”
This spring Williamson went through an uncharacteristic late-season pitching slump. She struggled to close out games, blowing a lead against Biddeford and having to be pulled in the Western Class A semifinals against Noble.
“Honestly, I just got into a funk, there wasn’t anything (physically) wrong,” Williamson said.
Griffin said Williamson proved herself a leader by refusing to let her own setbacks get the team down.
“She was pulling the team together,” Griffin said. “It was a great example of maturity, leadership and confidence. I’ll use that example for years to come.”
Williamson was back to her more typical level in the Western Maine final, allowing six hits (all singles) in a 2-1 loss to Thornton Academy.
After taking a short break, Williamson has returned to the diamond, playing for the Rhode Island Thunder. She says she wants to be prepared to help Drexel (17-27 in 2014) become a contender in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“I’ve been thinking about it and they’re definitely high goals,” Williamson said. “I would love to make it to the (NCAA) World Series one day.”