Alexis Stephens Named Softball Manager For Notre Dame


Published on October 6 2022 6:29 am
Last Updated on October 6 2022 6:29 am
Written by Millie Lange

Alexis Stephens played softball for Effingham St. Anthony High School but didn’t really want to go on to play college ball. However, she did want to stay around softball. That’s when her St. Anthony coach Makayla Taylor talked with the Notre Dame softball coach.

“I always knew I didn’t want to play in college,” said Stephens, the daughter of Tim and Julie Stephens. “My senior year I was one of the coaches for the junior high softball team. It was after coaching that I realized I liked helping and coaching more than I did playing softball.

“Tim and Makayla Taylor went to a conference in Chicago and the Notre Dame softball coach was there. They told her they had a girl on the team that was a really big fan of Notre Dame but she didn’t want to play ball but she’d like to meet you.

“Makayla got to know the Notre Dame coach and she told me she met the coach and told her about me. She said, when she meets you maybe there’s something you could do to get involved in softball at Notre Dame. She put that in my brain.

“So over the summer I got in touch with the Notre Dame softball team and met the operation specialist. They said they were looking for someone. It was about a four week process before I got to sit down and have an interview. It was pretty rigorous.”

Stephens learned she had several things she had to do.

“It was simple things like if you didn’t have a car at college you couldn’t do it. They wanted someone to be able to work film, call pitches.

“I finally got an interview two weeks into me being there on campus in September. I had two meetings with them and after that they gave me a two week trial. I would be the manager for two weeks and they would decide. After less than one week they offered it to me. It was the first Notre Dame home football game so that was September 10.

“They had remembered and heard a lot of good things about me so that’s one of the reasons I got the job. I’m one of two managers and the other one is a senior and I have had a lot of help from her.”

Coach Taylor and the St. Anthony softball squad went to State during Stephens’  junior year. She played outfield and was the DH.

“We had no seniors,” said Walsh. “My senior year I got injured three games into the schedule and I ended up tearing a ligament in my thumb. I was out for almost all of the year. I came back two weeks before post-season. I got to play senior night.”

Now she will be part of the Fighting Irish.

“We play exhibition games. Our last one was Sunday against Purdue. Now we are doing practices and then go on fall break. Once it hits winter, we won’t have practice for two months. Our first games I think are in February.

“When it comes to practice, it depends on my class schedule. I would come after class and help set up the cages for practices. I would pitch the cages or work the machines. If I’m on the field I throw them pop flies or run drills, catch for the coaches and interact during practice.

“Game days are a lot different. I would have to set up the cages and then the big thing we have to do is filming and radar. At home games all the girls wear wristbands that have cards. Each scouting card is different per pitcher.

“I get to set up filming. We have to do radar on other team’s pitchers every other inning and the same with our pitchers. Sometimes we’ll run errands. The Purdue game on Saturday, a girl ripped a hole in her pants and we didn’t have any spare pants. So the athletic trainer and I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought her pants.”

“I know the first three weeks we have tournaments at San Diego, Clemson and Florida. They’ll reach out to me and most of the time I’ll go with them but sometimes I have a really busy week at school and they’ll let me stay. There are things I can do here if I can’t go. They cover all the expenses.”

Notre Dame campus is one of the more beautiful in the country along with the sports fields.

“The softball field is a turf field and really pretty landscaping in the outfield with trees. There’s a nice big scoreboard. The cages and bullpen are really nice. Inside the stadium is beautiful, nice sitting room and players and managers get to hang out with a full-blown kitchen, TV, locker room and athletic training room and coaches office.”

Stephens is a student at St. Mary’s at Notre Dame in psychology with a minor in sociology/criminology.

“I want to work in the criminal justice system,” said Stephens. “I need a bachelor’s in psychology.”