Sterling HeightsJuly 1, 2013
Stevenson’s Huntley named Gatorade Michigan Softball Player of the Year
By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer
Sterling Heights Stevenson senior pitcher Alyssa Huntley said she has a strong sense of focus each time she steps into the circle.
“I don’t really think about pitching when I’m out there,” said Huntley, who spent four years with the Titans’ softball team. “I’m just in a zone. I don’t think about anything on the outside. It’s very hard to do, but I just try to focus on getting the next girl out.”
Huntley has gotten a lot of girls out in her four years as a prep softball pitcher. Her performance this season led to Huntley being named the 2013 Gatorade Michigan Softball Player of the Year. Huntley also was honored with the Miss Softball award, which is handed out by the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.
“I’m just really honored,” said Huntley, who went 18-7 this season with a 1.39 ERA, 180 strikeouts and two shutouts. At the plate, she hit .485 with six home runs and 42 RBI. “I’ve put my all into this, and I’m really glad there are people who see the work and time I put in and who want to recognize me for it.”
Stevenson coach Anthony Misuraca said Huntley’s time with the Titans has flown by.
“It seems like yesterday when Alyssa started her first varsity softball game four years ago,” said Misuraca, who guided Stevenson to a 24-8 mark in 2013. “She has been a pleasure to coach and to have around our program.”
Huntley credits Misuraca with helping her hone her skills. The ace pitcher said Misuraca would work with her in the offseason and would always do his best to make sure Huntley stuck to her conditioning regimen.
“I work out a lot, along with pitching, in the offseason,” Huntley said. “(Misuraca) has been great through everything.”
It could be said that Huntley was destined to be bestowed the honors she’s earned this year. Huntley has been a starter for Stevenson since her freshman year. In that time, the hurler was a big part of two Macomb Area Conference Red Division titles, three Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 district championships and two MHSAA D-1 regional title teams.
Huntley garnered MAC Red MVP honors and was named first-team All-State by the MHSSCA in 2012 and 2013.
“There’s been a lot that’s gone into this,” Huntley said. “It’s amazing what can happen when you work hard and focus on a goal you want to reach.”
That goal has led to Huntley receiving a scholarship to play softball at Eastern Michigan University, which, she said, Misuraca helped her get by talking with EMU coaches. Huntley, who racked up 84 wins in her prep career, said she’s excited to start the next chapter of her life, but she understands there may be some minor tweaks she must make to her game.
Huntley uses five pitches — a fastball, dropball, riseball, change-up and curveball. She said the curveball is her strikeout pitch. “I love to make girls chase after it.”
She added that she’s worked on different pitches with a pitching coach for three years.
“But I don’t throw the change-up so well,” Huntley said. “I know I’m going to have to work on that so it can be useful when I start playing in college.”
Huntley is quick to say she couldn’t have done any of this on her own. The pride of the MAC Red praised her parents for all they’ve done. Huntley has played on various travel teams for some time. She said she traveled to Florida, Tennessee and Alabama for games last year.
“I played in one tournament in Michigan, and the rest were out of state,” said Huntley, who averaged 198 strikeouts a season with the Titans. “My parents were with me through all of it. They drove me everywhere, and it was a lot of work.
“(My parents) have always been there for me. My dad has driven me to practices, and they’ve done so much to help me.”
Misuraca praised Huntley’s work ethic and said the pitcher deserves every accolade she gets.
“Alyssa has meant so much to our softball program, and it will be fun following her at Eastern Michigan,” Misuraca said.
Huntley is ready to start a new chapter and will depend on her strong work ethic as a means to succeeding. But the recently-graduated pitcher said she has some fond memories she will always keep with her.
“High school softball was so much fun. I played with all the same girls for a long time and even became close with girls from a lot of other teams,” said Huntley, who will play in the 2013 MHSSCA Division 1 All-Star Game at 1:30 p.m. July 24 at Michigan State University.
“You meet so many people and make so many friends that it’s sad when it ends.”