The article below originally appeared in the San Matean and is being reprinted with permission.
Sophomore softball utility player Alyssa Jepsen committed to Santa Clara University on Friday.
The 2010 All-State shortstop and Coast-NorthConference Player of the Year is soon to sign her letter of intent after debating between two Division I schools from the West Coast Conference – Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara, which she’s set to attend in the fall.
“I knew I was going to get a great education no matter where I went,” said Jepsen, a Communications major.
“LMU was a perfect choice for softball, but it was like trying to fit a square peg in a circle. It just would not work out. There were some major factors that I didn’t want to risk in choosing LMU – credits transferring, major, etc.,” she said.
“There were also some personal factors that I needed to take in consideration and being closer to home is something that is important to me,” Jepsen said.
The 5-foot-7 Notre Dame High (Belmont) grad batted barely over a .300 average in 2008 for the Tigers, but after a year of inactivity at Arizona State University, Jepsen returned hungrier than ever, hitting a team-leading .435 for the Bulldogs as a freshman.
Jepsen’s dazzling shortstop play, poise at the plate and stat-stuffing numbers were an evident choice for Player of the Year.
“When I arrived at CSM I was still very immature,” said Jepsen, 20. “I thank coach (Nicole Borg) for never judging me based on other people’s comments and treating me like her daughter. She is one of the most caring people I’ve ever met and she will do anything to help someone out when in need. She is a take nothing, give everything type of woman.”
As a sophomore;Jepsen’s numbers stand out from the rest as she leads the conference in hits (52), runs scored (48), doubles (15), stolen bases (17) and strikeout to at bat ratio (.049).
“I am leaving CSM as a better student of the game and a more mature and rounded individual,” said Jepsen.
The 20-year old has transitioned from her natural shortstop position to a starting pitcher, adding depth to the rotation and sporting a 14-5 record with a 2.09 ERA and 78 strikeouts.
“As a pitcher’s mother you have the ulcer,” said her mother, Cindy Jepsen.
“She pitched back when she was 10 and here I am 10 years later watching her on the mound again. I’m not as nervous as I was back then, but it’s amazing to see how far she’s come,” she said.
Jepsen has a big task at hand as the Santa Clara Broncos sport an 11-game losing streak and a 6-23 overall record.
“Any program that I’m a part of, I know I’ll positively impact it,” said a confident Jepsen. “Like I’ve said before – I lead by example, I consider myself to be that type of player. I feel that I can be a factor of the uprising of the organization.”
Jepsen and the Bulldogs still have unfinished business, sitting a win away from a conference championship, which they will dispute visiting arch-rival Ohlone College on Tuesday at 3 p.m.