Notre Dame Prep, the all girls private school in Towson, has seen its share of athletes sign Division I Letter of Intent, but not many, if any at all, have signed to play softball.
Alex Anderson, a Forest Hill resident, is changing that. The 5-foot-4 pitcher and power hitter is taking her talents to George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
“So, It was a lot of factors,” Anderson said that led her to George Mason. “First, it was the computer science factor because I’ve always been told and I always believed that I know I’m going to college for the degree, not because of just softball. So, the degree, computer science at George Mason is their number one major. Also, they’re the number one research institute in Virginia, beating out UVA, Virginia Tech, etc. and then the softball factor. They’re a mid-major D-I , they’re in a great conference, I really like coach [Justin] Walker and the team, since I know most of the team from going to camps over the years. Also, career path wise, it’s about 15 minutes from CIA. I definitely want to do DOD work.”
Anderson was on the George Mason radar before she started ninth grade. “I believe I got an email the summer before my freshman year,” Anderson said. Anderson then attended three GMU prospects and skills camps as a NDP sophomore (9/2018) and junior (2/2019, 9/2019).
George Mason’s long-time coach Joe Verbanic, however, resigned in April after 16 years.
Fortunately, interim head coach Walker had previously been out out to watch Anderson pitch a 7-inning shutout and add the game-winning RBI in an 2018 travel league game.
Still, there were other schools showing interest in Anderson for softball and academics.
“I had an offer from St. John’s in New York for the same pitching, third base, hitting spot. I turned them down because I thought it was a little, too far, and they’re computer science wasn’t as strong as George Mason,” Anderson said. “And then, I also had an offer since August from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) which is D-III, but I mean it’s MIT, but yeah, so.”
Anderson was accepted to GMU Honors College with a significant merit scholarship on December 15. She tweeted her verbal commitment on December 19.
At NDP, in her freshman year, Anderson lobbied NDP to add AP Computer Science classes, which they did not offer at the time and they finally agreed to add both AP Computer Science classes. Anderson completed both Inaugural classes in her sophomore and junior years.
As a junior, she co-founded NDP’s chapter of Girls Who Code (GWC). “Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like and does,” is the statement from the GWC website.
“A lot of the students are really interested in computer science and coding, so I wanted to do something to give those girls an outlet,” Anderson said.
As a senior, Anderson became an inaugural member of NDP’s National Computer Science Honor Society in addition to the six other NDP honor societies that she is a member.
As for softball, Anderson’s main focus is pitching, but she can hit for power and play a corner infield position.
Anderson lists seven pitches that come from her glove. The fastball was clocked at 63 back in January, before COVID. She says now it’s in the low 60s.
The other pitches are a changeup, curve, back door curve, rise ball, drop ball and screw ball. “The one’s I think are the most strategic are my back door curve and my regular curve and my changeup,” Anderson said. “I try and work it almost to where it’s untouchable on the outside corner,” she said of the changeup.
At NDP, as a freshman, Anderson was NDP’s starting third baseman, but once given the opportunity to pitch, she pitched nearly every inning the rest of the year through the semifinal playoff game against undefeated Chapelgate Christian.
As a sophomore, she pitched every inning except one, leading NDP once again to a winning season and the semifinal playoff game against undefeated St. Paul’s School for Girls.
That season she was selected to the IAAM B All-Conference team after recording more than half of all of NDP’s defensive outs from the mound.
Away from school softball with NDP, Anderson plays travel ball with the Jersey Intensity in Farmingdale, NJ.
That’s a two and a half hour drive from home to practice and play softball. The Intensity has kept Anderson busy with two trips to Texas, one to Las Vegas and another to Florida, among others.
Anderson says she started playing at age 5 with Fallston Rec, recalling coach pitch. Pitching started at age 7 and had only grown from there.
Anderson currently works with Nikki Thomas (Private Pitching Coach) and Sam Snider (Private Hitting Coach).
Anderson says she missed playing high school softball last spring. “I think the part that really bummed me out is because we had all those moments from freshman and sophomore years, making it to the semifinals two years in a row against two undefeated teams. I think we all really thought it was gonna be our year last year to win it,” Anderson said. “Our hope for this year is obviously as always to win. We’re gonna come back with a little bit of a vengeance because we definitely want to beat our rival, which I think would be St. Paul’s.”
There is, however, a chance of another spring with no season. Anderson adressed that, too.
“I think being a captain, or co-captain, we would just have to tell the girls, even though we’re kind of robbed of our season, that doesn’t mean that, obviously you guys have 3, 2, 1 more year of playing,” she said. “You guys got to continue and you guys got to get us a championship win. Because we all know that’s what our coach wants as well.”