Playing Ball Like a Girl

Brian Tague:

In the spring of 1993 “The Sandlot,” hit theaters and with it came the line “You play ball like a girl!” Spoken by fan favorite character Ham as a way to insult a group of fellow young baseball players. playing ball like a girl is a supposed insult that many baseball players have likely heard throughout their careers. However, to those who still use it Alexis Miller says, “To those that say it I would like them to step on the softball field and try to play for just a second.”

Miller, a senior pitcher on the Ursinus softball team, takes great pride in her team and the sport she plays. Having played the sport since she was 5 years old and with a younger sister who is also a college softball player, softball has become a major part of Alexis’s life and who she is as a person.

A standout on the mound at her high school, Miller came to Ursinus to further her academic and athletic career. “One of the reasons I played softball at the collegiate level is because I love being an athlete.” Miller said in an interview “I didn’t want to give it up just yet. I like to compete so being able to compete at a higher level was and still is exciting to me.” While on the mound Miller’s competitive side bubbles up to the surface, where she can be seen firing pitches past batters. Her teammate Stephanie Wichman describes facing her as “Terrifying. It’s honestly terrifying to face her because she throws it tight and has no fear of putting a runner on.” Along with fearless pitching style, her emphatic reactions on the mound illustrate just how much she puts into not only her performance but how much she cares about her teammates. Each time her team records an out, whether it be a strike by her own hand or a putout in the field, Miller can be seen cheering on her teammates. Miller isn’t all show either as she has worked her way into becoming one of the team’s most reliable arms, earning All-Centennial Conference honors her sophomore year, and in her junior year lead the team in complete games while also leading the conference in saves. She has started off her senior year on a similar note, ranking in the conference top 10 in wins, strikeouts, and saves.

Being an athlete is only part of a student athlete’s responsibility and Miller takes her role as a student just as seriously as she takes her athletics. With hopes of pursuing a career in marketing, Miller took matters into her own hands. When she learned that Ursinus did not offer a dedicated major for marketing she worked with the school to create a self-initiated major, combining courses from the Communications department and the Economics department. She takes as much pride in her academics as she does in her pitching, as she is a two-time NFCA Scholar athlete, a two-time Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll member, and has earned Academic All-Centennial honors throughout her time at Ursinus.

Miller’s style of play and confidence is why she welcomes anyone who still thinks of “playing ball like a girl” as an insult to square off against her on the field. Because she’s more than willing to show you that it certainly is not.

“Terrifying. It’s honestly terrifying to face her [Miller] because she throws it tight and has no fear of putting a runner on.” – Stephanie Wichman ‘25