High School Sports

A Wilde conversion to softball

The first time Allegra Wilde met Tammy Hutchison, she wanted nothing to do with softball.

Wilde was a promising 11-year old shortstop and pitcher in the Kennewick American Youth Baseball league when Hutchison, the coach of the Tri-City Angels softball club, took notice.

“I thought oh my goodness, she’s just a raw, natural talent,” Hutchison said. “I went up to her when she was with all her buddies and asked her if she would like to play softball. Well, she kind of laughed at me.

“I just looked at her and said, ‘I’m going to tell you this — there will come a time when you will need to play softball, and you look me up.’ ”

A little over a year later, Wilde was playing third base for the Angels under Hutchison. The transition was smooth, and it wasn’t long before Wilde had fallen in love with her newest sport. Now, Kamiakin’s 5-foot-6 leadoff hitter has comfortably settled in as the CBBN’s premier offensive player.

She batted .400 in the regular season last year and finished among the league’s top 10 with four home runs, 15 RBIs and four stolen bases. Coming from a team that placed seven players on the all-CBL 3A first and second teams, Wilde was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year as well as a first-team all-state selection.

“Last year was the best I could have hoped for as far as awards go. I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Wilde, who also plays basketball for Hutchison at Kamiakin. “Tammy has been a big part of my appreciation for the sport. There is definitely a family atmosphere and good chemistry going through her teams.”

The Braves graduated seven seniors from a squad that finished fifth at state last year. Braves co-captains Wilde and Adrielle Olson will play a major role in the direction of a young Kamiakin team this season.

“I’m really competitive. The teamwork and competition is what drives me on the field,” Wilde said. “I’d like to make it as far into the playoffs as we can. I don’t know if everybody on this team has the same drive to get there. It’s a real young team, but I think we’ll have a lot of fun.”

Wilde got plenty of exposure to college recruiters over the summer playing with the Puyallup-based Washington Ladyhawks. That exposure helped her earn a scholarship to Seattle University, which jumped from Division II to D-I last season. She was told by Redhawks coaches that she’ll step right in as the team’s starting third baseman.

“She’ll be exceptional,” Hutchison said. “Here she gets a scholarship and she’s working even harder now. So when she hits that college field, she’ll ready to go.”

Hutchison said Wilde is extremely versatile at the plate and can lay down a bunt, power slap or swing away with power.

“She just finds the holes. She’s really good at reading weak spots,” said Olson, a fellow senior. “She’s pretty strong all the way around. If she has a weak spot, nobody knows what it is.”

After transferring from Kennewick before her sophomore season, Wilde made an immediate impact on the Braves’ offense — she batted .508 in her first year at Kamiakin — but her fearless nature in defending the hot corner is what makes her most proud.

“My favorite part of the game is defense by far — making a really good stop or a good play,” Wilde said.

In fact, Wilde’s defense played a major role in Kamiakin reaching state last season. Her diving stop against Eastmont saved at least one run in a scoreless game, and the Braves went on to win 2-0 to earn a spot at the 3A state tourney.

“On bunt situations, most people like to get the ball down to get the runner over at second,” said Kamiakin assistant Jennifer Brown. “She’s so quick that she gets the runner out at second.”

Wilde, an honors student with a 3.9 GPA, plans to study business and finance at Seattle U., following in her father’s footsteps. With her college plans already set, the future Redhawks third baseman can concentrate on putting up some serious numbers.

“A lot of pressure is off, so now I can just focus on the game and personal satisfaction,” Wilde said. “There’s a lot of drive in me to prepare for Division I.”