September 16, 2020

Alex Acevedo flourishes after transferring to Syracuse two years ago

first_imgDuring the winter of her senior season at Oakleaf (Florida) High School, Alex Acevedo was still searching for a place to play collegiate softball. She visited Duke, Florida Atlantic and Florida State, but one destination stood out.At a recruiting camp hosted by Dartmouth, Acevedo thought she found her fit. Not because of the campus, the team or the strong academics but because of the woman in charge — Shannon Doepking.“She knew that she wanted me,” Acevedo said. “I knew I wanted to go to school with her, I almost didn’t care which school it was.”Though Acevedo and Doepking instantly “hit it off,” the recruit didn’t commit to Dartmouth. Instead, Acevedo stayed closer to her home in Orange Park, Florida, her mother, Melissa, said. But when Doepking accepted the head coaching position for Syracuse, Acevedo followed.As a freshman, Acevedo started two games at FAU and hit .176, but she has flourished since transferring to Syracuse. Doepking gave her the opportunity to play, and she batted .258 while starting all but one game for the Orange in 2019. Acevedo has entrusted her future with Doepking, and the coach has shown her the same commitment.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When she got on the portal, it was a no-brainer that if I was going to build culture, I needed kids that were going to buy into me as a head coach,” Doepking said. “I mean, she is a kid that as a coach, you couldn’t ask for more. She is just a kid that will always have my back.”Roshan Fernandez | Asst. Digital EditorDuring Acevedo’s freshman year, Dartmouth took a trip to Boca Raton, Florida to play FAU, and Doepking was able to catch up with Acevedo. The infielder was frustrated after not receiving the playing time she wanted with the Owls. Acevedo wanted to find her worth, Doepking said, but the coach told her it would never be defined inside the foul lines.The two weren’t allowed to verbally communicate due to NCAA restrictions, but Acevedo would like all of Doepking’s Instagram photos and talked to one of her previous travel teammates who played for Dartmouth. When Doepking moved to Syracuse in September of 2018, Acevedo “slid in her DMs,” as Doepking puts it, and congratulated her on the new role. Doepking couldn’t respond, but she understood the sentiment. By the end of the year, Acevedo was a member of the Orange roster.“I knew that she was someone that I really wanted to coach me and to learn from,” Acevedo said. “So as soon as that happened, that is when I just wanted to do it. If she wasn’t here, I would not be here.”After transferring to Syracuse in December of 2018, Acevedo knew she had to be better than she was for FAU. Her freshman year came with some “jitters,” she said, but she took the necessary steps to earn playing time at a program like SU’s.Throughout the season, however, she accumulated injuries that plagued her. She strained her right leg, which forced her to move to first base, then dislocated her left shoulder reaching for a ball and hurt her wrist after being struck by a pitch from Florida State’s Megan King.The injuries set her back at the plate — she says her numbers weren’t indicative of her abilities — but Doepking saw enough value to play her over other healthy members of the team.“I would never want to be off the field,” Acevedo said. “They would have to break both my legs before I came off the field.”Doepking said that Acevedo was only 50%, but the trust they had built kept her on the field. Doepking needed Acevedo to “tough some of this out” for an underperforming Syracuse team. And Acevedo didn’t want to let her coach down.“I believe her and Doepking just have this bond of ‘I trust you, you trust me,’” Melissa said. Comments Published on February 26, 2020 at 10:41 pm Contact Eli: efjarjou@syr.edu center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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