La Plata grad Bilodeau picks Jacksonville for softball
La Plata graduate goes Division I after whirlwind spring, summer
Nearly 2 1/2 months have passed since Alyssa Bilodeau helped La Plata’s softball team win its third state championship with a 9-1 victory over Catoctin of Frederick County at the University of Maryland’s Robert E. Taylor Stadium in College Park.
Now, Bilodeau’s college career is churning, as after being noticed playing travel ball for the 18-and-Under Virginia Unity at the Atlanta Legacy Showcase in mid-July she recently signed her national letter of intent to play softball for NCAA Division I Jacksonville University.
Bilodeau, a Charlotte Hall resident, had originally committed to Division III Salisbury last fall, but opted to head to the Sunshine State when the new opportunity presented itself.
Playing college softball was a moment the La Plata graduate had been waiting for all her life and now her dream came true.
“This is so exciting and overwhelming at the same time,” Bilodeau said. “I’ve always wanted to play Division I and even though it was last minute this was a opportunity that I could not pass up. I’m just thankful and ecstatic to playing ball at the next level.”
La Plata head softball coach Dave Krahling spoke highly of his ace.
“First, she has worked very hard and if she continues to focus and work she will be a big part of the Jacksonville program,” said Krahling, the All-Charles County Coach of the Year this past spring. “Secondly, I’m so proud of her accomplishments. She has worked hard for the past four years that I’ve coached her. She
deserves all that has been presented to her and I wish her the best.”
Bilodeau mentioned that while at the four-day showcase in Atlanta, Jacksonville assistant coach Erica Ayers saw her playing on July 16 and immediately wanted her to fly down for an official visit. Bilodeau flew down on that following Tuesday and ended up making her official decision to play with the Dolphins on the 22nd and was offered a full scholarship.
“When I went on my visit I got to meet an incoming freshman and the head coach [Jennifer Steele],” said Bilodeau, who led Virginia Unity to a 7-1 record at the showcase. “The campus was very nice and the weather was beautiful. It was very family-oriented and everyone just made me feel welcomed and I just felt comfortable.”
Following a stellar senior season with the Warriors, Bilodeau has had a very busy summer in travel, leading Virginia Unity to a 44-7 record where it claimed the ASA/USA Virginia State Championship, the WFC World Cup and Atlantic Coast Showcase titles. At the ASA Nationals in Bloomington, Ind., Bilodeau and her Virginia club also finished tied for ninth out of 80 teams.
Bilodeau had other offers from Division II’s Charleston (W.Va.) and Division I’s Troy University, but Jacksonville was the perfect fit.
Last season, the Dolphins finished 28-30 overall and 8-10 in Atlantic Sun conference play, so Bilodeau hopes to make an immediate impact and most likely will be seeing the field a lot as a true freshman.
“I’m looking forward to playing college. It will be a lot more structured and more time consuming than high school,” said Bilodeau, who will major in exercise science. “It’ll be hard away from my family, but it will be worth it.”
Bilodeau, who played four years on varsity, two as a starting pitcher, won back-to-back All-Charles County Athlete of the Year honors in her final two seasons.
Bilodeau was named the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference’s Most Outstanding Player as a senior this past spring. In the state final, she retired 20 of 26 batters, including the first eight to start the game, giving up just four hits while striking out five. She pitched over 140 innings for the season with a 1.70 ERA, throwing as high as 64 mph.
“My senior year was so awesome,” she added. “We were inseparable on and off the field and I’m going to miss my teammates and coaches. Winning the state title was special and will be a moment I will never forget.”
La Plata High School graduate Alyssa Bilodeau, pictured in the Class 2A state championship in May, recently signed her national letter of intent to play softball at NCAA Division I Jacksonville University.