By Joseph Staszewski
Alexandra Yule understood she had to make the most of her opportunity with a chance to play softball at Columbia University, her dream school, on the line.
The Archbishop Molloy senior wanted to go to and suit up for the Ivy League school since she visited there as a freshman. Yule’s attempts to get the attention of the previous Lions coaching staff proved futile, but an email to newly hired coach Jennifer Teague last summer earned her a chance to play in front of her last fall. Yule remembers the feeling of seeing Teague behind the backstop as she watched her play for her Sudden Impact travel team last September.
“Every nerve that was ever possible to be felt I felt at that moment,” she said. “It was just like, I have one opportunity and I had to make it work.”
Yule felt she played okay that day, pitched out of jams, fielded a ground ball and did a solid job at the plate. She called Teague the next day and the coach was interested. She asked Yule to send more information about her grades and SAT scores. Yule, who has a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society, was recently accepted to the school after applying early decision and will get to fulfill her wish of playing for the Lions.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was where I always wanted to go,” Yule said. “It’s probably the biggest dream so far that I accomplished. I couldn’t be happier.”
Columbia, which is recruiting Yule as a middle infielder, is getting one of the city’s best and toughest players. She had a breakout year as a junior. Yule stepped in seamlessly when senior pitcher Amanda Zeni missed time early in the season with tendonitis. Yule became the workhorse in the circle and matured into one of the most feared hitters in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens. Her drive and competitiveness helped lead Molloy to the regular season title.
“She improved every year and last year, when the pressure was on her, she just stepped up to the plate,” Molloy coach Maureen Rosenbaum said.
The coach believes Yule’s best days are ahead of her. It is because whenever she meets adversity, whether in the classroom or on the diamond she just works hard to improve and overcome it. That kind of attitude should bring success at the Division I level.
“I think she will succeed because I don’t think she’s plateaued yet,” Rosenbaum said. “I think she will continue to improve.”
One of the things Yule wants to better is Molloy’s finish to the season. She and her teammates believe they missed an opportunity to win a diocesan title last year and do not want it to get away again. No matter what the outcome to the season, Yule will be heading to the school she always wanted for the next four years at Columbia.
“It was always the place I wanted to wind up being from freshman year,” Yule said. “It was a dream come true when it actually happened.”