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Alexa Galligani commits to USF!

By Peri Kahn

Alexa Galligani, a junior at White Plains High School, is a student athlete who recently committed to play softball at the University of South Florida (USF). Alexa is a superb varsity athlete who skillfully plays second base for the Tigers softball squad.

As a young girl, sports was always a part of Alexa’s life. Her father, a former pro baseball player, always had sports on the television, whether it be basketball, football, or baseball, and Alexa was captivated. This is what drove Alexa’s early fascination and enjoyment for athletics. Alexa actually used to stand in front of the TV pretending to hit off of the MLB pitchers with her wiffle ball bat. That’s how much she loved sports.

At six years old, Alexa began playing soccer. She started playing for the local White Plains Youth league, quickly falling in love with it. After playing in the league for a few years, Alexa started playing on an academy team, while also playing softball. As Alexa continued club soccer, the vibe around the other players was awkward and uncomfortable. Her teammates played and trained all year together, while Alexa played softball during other seasons, making her out of the loop socially. On the other hand, the environment at softball was always welcoming, cheerful, and most importantly, fun. This was when Alexa, at 13 years old, realized she wanted to pursue softball.

Soon after, during her freshman year of high school, Alexa began the recruitment process for softball, meaning she began working towards a college scholarship. She played on elite-level travel teams, such as the Empire State Huskies and Rock Gold National, where she played in showcase tournaments that would elevate her exposure to college scouts.

As she worked through this process, Alexa figured out what schools she wanted to go to, her top college being USF. To get the team and coaches’ attention, Alexa made sure she was in constant contact with them through email, and went to the University’s training camps during the summer. These camps were important, and while Alexa was there, she made sure she stood out so the coaches would remember her. Alexa said, “I showed up in a neon pink jersey and went up to the coach and introduced myself first.” It was important for Alexa that she left a memorable impression on the coaches by going above and beyond her peers, not just athletically but also socially. And, to this day, Alexa’s coach at USF tells her that she was the one he remembers – the girl wearing the bright pink jersey.

Although Alexa knew where she wanted to play early on, the recruitment process was still difficult for her, and she faced many obstacles along the way. Throughout the process, Alexa was having trouble balancing her school work and her rigorous training schedule. She trains six days a week, whether it’s strength training, fielding drills, or working with her hitting coach, making it difficult to balance school and softball. Alexa also needed to keep up excellent grades and receive a high SAT or ACT score because part of her scholarship was for academics.

Another hard thing Alexa went through during scouting was leaving a team of her best friends. As Alexa got more passionate about USF, she was told she needed to switch travel teams to get

more exposure to the coaches there. “This was the hardest decision I had to make,” Alexa explained. It was hard leaving teammates she had played with since she was eight years old, but ultimately Alexa did what she had to do to reach her goal.

Now that Alexa has secured her position at USF, her dream school, she realizes that the countless hours of hard work and dedication have paid off.

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