Better than OK: Pima softball star earns national accolades

2014-06-14T00:00:00Z 2014-06-14T12:10:19Z Better than OK: Pima softball star earns national accoladesBy Zack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Alexis Dotson feels like she started out slow.

And, the Pima outfielder and leadoff hitter feels like her season, in the end, was decent.

“I feel like I did well,” she said. “I think I did my job when I was called upon. I did OK.”

That’s what people would call modesty. Like, very modest. The modest-est.

Just look at the numbers.

In her first five games at Pima, Dotson hit .473, with four RBIs and two steals. Not exactly a slow start.

By the end of the season, Dotson’s line looked like this — .516 average, one home run, 38 RBIs, 69 runs and 36 stolen bases. She led the Aztecs in batting average, hits, runs, steals, triples, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Nationally, she was fourth in average, first in hits, second in triples, eighth in on-base percentage, 18th in runs and 19th in steals.

She might not have noticed, or cared much, about her stats, but other people have certainly started taking notice. She was named first-team all-conference, first-team NJCAA All-American, and — last week — first-team NFCA All-American.

Better than ‘OK’.

“I didn’t really look at my stats until my dad told me to look at my stats,” said Dotson, a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico. “I’m not one to really look at my numbers throughout the season. I look at other peoples’, like my friends, but I don’t like to focus on it that much. I just focus on doing my job.

“When I did look,” she added, “I was like, ‘Wow. That’s pretty good.’”

How good?

In a 10-game stretch at the end of March, she had 29 hits in 37 at-bats, an average of, yes, .783. She also had 14 RBIs and nine steals during that run. More importantly, Pima went 9-1 during that time.

“Alexis is unconscious,” Pima coach Armando Quiroz said at the time. “She’s unbelieveable. I was joking with her, we were at El Paso and she went 7 for 9 and I said ‘What happened the other two times?’”

Dotson wasn’t thinking too much about it, though.

“Well, when I was on that streak and doing well, I noticed I was doing better than at the beginning of the season,” she said, “but I didn’t really focus much on, ‘Yeah, I’m on a hot streak’. If you start thinking ‘don’t mess that up’ you start playing mind games with yourself. I just kept doing what I was doing, which was being relaxed and focusing on doing my job.”

And she’s getting noticed by some Division I schools, including Oregon and Arizona.

Which is a great feeling for Dotson, considering she had no offers outside of Pima coming out of Las Cruces High School.

“I had some people have their doubts about me and how I play,” Dotson said. “Honestly, I want to show (Division I schools) that I am capable of being able to go to a major D-1 school, and be able to play.”

Right now, unless she receives a scholarship offer from a Division I program, Dotson will return to the Aztecs in the fall.

Although, it would be pretty cool, she said, if Arizona ultimately gave the offer, possibly keeping her in the Old Pueblo.

“That would be great,” Dotson said. “As a little girl U of A is what you think of when it comes to softball, and coach (Mike) Candrea is an amazing coach; he coached the Olympics. He’s an amazing coach, so why not? Of course that would be a great opportunity.”

“My first goal when I came to Pima was to do well, stay focused on the season,” she added. “I know a lot in the middle of the season, my coaches and my dad were talking to me about going to other schools, but when I’m in season, and I’m playing, I like to focus on that first and let the other things happen later. At a CC, it’s a second chance to get to a D1, so that was a big part of my goal, to be able to go to the next level.”

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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