Madison senior Alyssa Lavdis committed during the fall of her junior season to continue her education and softball career at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
On Wednesday, she made it official when she signed her letter of intent.
“They are 14-time Southern Conference champions and have had 11 NCAA appearances,” said Lavdis when asked what led her to UTC. “They have the major I am interested in and the environment there is amazing. Chattanooga is known as the capital of girls’ fastpitch in the East, so I have played there multiple times. The coaches were amazing and there was never a dull moment when I was on my visit with them.”
Lavdis chose UTC over interest from Miami (Ohio), Ohio State, Valparaiso, Marshall, Northern Illinois and McNeese State.
Her visits to UTC sealed the deal.
“I have visited the school many times,” she said. “When I first got to campus, I noticed how open and how big it was. It wasn’t too big and wasn’t too small, it was the perfect size I was looking for. I got to tour all the facilities and it made me more excited to actually be on campus living there. I was mind-blown when I walked in and saw a lazy river in one of the buildings. The campus is overall beautiful and Chattanooga is a great city. “
UTC Coach Frank Reed stumbled upon Lavdis by accident.
He was scouting another player and was impressed by Lavdis, who was pitching in the game. That led to a call to Lavdis’ coach and the rest is history.
Lavdis was recruited as a pitcher and she’s looking forward to working toward her goals in college.
“Pitching is a big role in the game of softball and traveling to the west coast and all around the country has prepared me to compete against some of the best competition,” she said. “I want to be the best I can be, I never want to look back and think what I could have done differently.”
COVID has limited the contact Lavdis has had with the current UTC players, but social media has allowed her to get to know her future teammates from a distance.
“I have met some in person and we do our best to talk to each other through social media and, every once in a while, we have a zoom with our entire class,” she said. “I am very thankful for my coaches at UTC. They do good reaching out to me and other girls as well even though they have so much on their plate. If I ever need anything, I know who to call.”
Lavdis and her Madison teammates were shut down last spring due to the spread of the virus. She’s hoping to get the chance to close out her career on her own terms.
As a sophomore, she finished 8-2 in the circle with 135 strikeouts. She also carries a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.