All-Star softball

Andy Anders / The Herald Aubrey Allen warms up for her second appearance of the night during the second game of the North-South All-Star double-header.

Aubrey Allen has already made herself known in the high school softball ranks, but now the Elmore County pitcher will have her chance to do so at the college level.

Allen, a rising senior, committed to play college softball at Alabama State University last week.

She attended a camp at Alabama State a few weeks ago, and after putting on a good showing, earned an offer from ASU coach Todd Bradley. After two weeks of deliberating the offer with her parents, Allen decided ASU was the best program for her future.

“I really enjoyed the coaching,” Allen said of ASU. “I had been to a few camps and it felt like it was where I was supposed to be. I also know some of the players that are currently there who I’ve played against in school and they told me some great things about the academics.”

Allen had previously been committed to the University of Montevallo, but hadn’t heard from the school following a coaching change. After continuing to work hard, she said God opened up another opportunity for her and she couldn’t pass it up.

Alabama State had always been in the back of Allen’s mind, as she wanted to find a great program that was close to home.

“We really thought it was the best program for me to grow as a player and ultimately get the best experience playing at the next level,” Allen said.

Allen won’t be the hardest throwing pitcher on Alabama State’s roster when she gets there in the fall of 2022. She’s more of a spin-pitcher, and her velocity usually only sits between 58 and 60 miles per hour.

But velocity doesn’t matter when one can locate and spin the ball as well as Allen can. She showed how talented she was as a junior last year and finished with a 21-9 record and a 1.59 ERA. She recorded 258 strikeouts compared to only 40 walks in 192.1 innings, a whopping 6.45 K/BB ratio.

Because of that, she was named to the All-Elmore County First-Team in the spring.

“Her biggest strength is spinning the ball really well,” Elmore County head coach Mark Segrest said. “She has a really good rise and a really good curve. So her spin is what makes it difficult for good hitters to barrel her up. One thing she does extremely well is pitch on top. And when she does that, it forces the hitters to have to hit her pitch. With the spin and the control she has, it puts hitters at a real disadvantage early in the count.”

Allen is joining an Alabama State team that is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021.

The Hornets finished the year 19-29 overall, but had an impressive finish to the season and went 4-0 in the SWAC Conference Tournament to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

In the NCAA Tournament, the Hornets lost to Alabama and Troy to end their season. Alabama State didn’t shy away from any competition in the spring and played six games against SEC opponents.

Allen believes she, and the rest of the 2022 signing class, can help continue the strong tradition of play that Alabama State has become known for.

“I always try to get ahead in the count, and getting ahead in the count definitely gives the pitcher an advantage,” Allen said of what she brings ASU. “The spin and movement and being able to locate my pitches really well, especially with the other ‘22s, I think we can improve Alabama State’s roster.”