TAMPA, Fla. – Change is something that University of South Florida Bulls outfielder Alexa Galligani is used to – and she welcomes it.
The freshman was an infielder in her native New York for White Plains High School, winning Westchester-Putnam softball player of the year in her three of her four seasons.
However, she finds herself playing centre field for the first time this year with the Bulls. This is no issue for Galligani. She is aware it is the best decision for her.
“Moving to college, I know that if I wanted to get on the field more I’d have to learn more positions,” Galligani said Wednesday before taking part in practice. “Enhancing my defence has been really special to me.”
Working on playing a position that is foreign to her has not gone unnoticed with Bulls head coach Ken Eriksen. He believes centre field is where a player of her caliber belongs.
“She’s an athlete, and multi-sport athletes like her can get better,” said Eriksen. “athletes gravitate to the outfield real well because you want to let thoroughbreds run and she’s a thoroughbred. She can run.”
The centre-fielder’s first love as a child was soccer and she credits her father for encouraging her to play as many sports as she could – but it wasn’t always easy.
“I loved soccer my whole life but as I got older it was more of a commitment and I had to choose if I wanted to do travel softball or club soccer,” said Galligani. “I honestly just had a better connection with my teammates in softball so I chose that path instead.”
As she continues her first season with the Bulls, adversity through change has become all too familiar.
“I think it was my sophomore year [in high school], that’s when I started to get more into recruiting.
“I had to make that very hard decision to move from more of a local team [with lifelong friends] to a more competitive team that gave me a better opportunity to come to USF,” she said.
“It taught me to deal with adversity.”