Lady Lion on her way to Univ. of Connecticut
By Howard D. Newman
Four years have past since San Diego Jewish Academy Lady Lion Ali Adelman pitched her first varsity softball game. In between that time her reputation blossomed.
Adelman set six CIF San Diego Section records, recording 849 strikeouts, and is on her way east to the University of Connecticut as the Carmel Valley high School’s first athlete to receive a Div. 1 college athletic scholarship.
“I know I will have to get use to the cold and snow,” said Adelman. “I’m excited to continue at the NCAA level.”
Adelman leaves behind a legacy according to Charlie Wund, athletic director at San Diego Jewish Academy.
“Ali’s dedication to the sport, and the development of the softball program at the Academy is an inspiration to all athletes here,” said Wund. “We are so proud of what she has done. We look forward to following Ali’s career at Connecticut. Also, we will retire Ali’s uniform number, the first ever at SDJA. It will be in the trophy case in our newly built gym.”
Fittingly, that uniform number is 1.
Before Adelman goes off to become a Lady Huskie, she will play Travel ball this summer. Her team is the Artesian Punishers 18U, coached by California State University at Dominguez assistant coach Bob Medina.
“Last summer we qualified for the Nationals,” said Adelman, “and we won it in College Station, Texas. This summer it will be held in Moline, Illinois.”
Speaking of traveling, Adelman and 46 of her senior classmates recently returned from a five-week senior trip to Israel, a senior tradition at the school. After winning the Citrus West League for the third year in a row and going to the playoffs and winning their first ever playoff game last year, this year the Lady Lions couldn’t go to the CIF playoffs. There were 13 Lady Lions on the team and seven were seniors. All went on the trip.
“We played all our (regular season) games before the Israel trip,” said Adelman. “At first I was a little upset about not going to the playoffs. But, this trip was the best ever. We spent one week in Poland and that was an incredible experience. Visiting the former concentration camps and the Holocaust museums. It was very emotional. Then four weeks in Israel, seeing how the people have developed the country, the culture and the survivors that helped shape Israel.”
Adelman’s stats again were phenomenal this season. Her team was 15-2 overall and 13-0 in the Citrus West and Adelman’s record was identical to her team (15-2, 13-0). She pitched 101.1 innings; giving up six earned runs, walking 16 and striking out 223, with 13 complete games including five shutouts. Adelman was also the team leader in batting with a .528 average, scoring 16 runs, driving in 25 teammates, hitting 1 homerun while only striking out an amazing once. She was a perfect six-for-six in stolen bases, and committed only one error in 17 games. Also amazing is Ali Adelman’s GPA - 4.06.
Adelman says she has two standout memories of her high school softball career, one as sophomore and one as a junior.
“In my sophomore year, when we played Mountain Empire the second time,” she said. The first time we lost 11-0 at our field, so during the trip to Mountain Empire, I was a little nervous and wasn’t that confident. I guess we turned the corner as a team beating them 3-2. And in my junior year, the first round of the CIF playoffs against La Jolla Country Day, who we had never beaten. There must have been over 100 fans at our field and they were cheering on every pitch. Also, the seniors that came back from Israel were there too. And of course we won 6-5.”
Adelman has been at SDJA since the sixth grade.
“I will miss everything about the Academy,” said a reflective Adelman. “I’ve made many friends here. I’m also proud to have been a softball player here.”
Since coming back from Israel, Adelman says her favorite food now is falafel, and still enjoys Harry Potter movies. “Gossip Girl” is her favorite TV show and rock her music of choice. Science is her favorite subject.
Adelman says her role models are softball influenced - former collegiate greats, Kat Osterman from Texas, and Jenny Finch from Arizona. Both are on the U.S. National Softball team.
“I use my dad’s workout plan - the Marc Adelman Routine,” she said (her father was one of the assistant softball coaches the last two years). “It includes pitching three times a week, running and lifting the rest. I still have the same pitching coach, Bill Corbett. For the next level, I have to build up my legs and strength. Also focus on a drop ball, better change-up and rise ball.”
Adelman still doesn’t know what she will major in at Connecticut, but she has two years to decide. Adelman, also has a good shot of being a starting pitcher as a freshman for the Huskies.
“It won’t surprise me,” said Adelman, “if the coaches at Connecticut wouldn’t let me hit.”