One-on-One With Alexis Silkwood

Mississippi State sophomore softball pitcher Alexis Silkwood talks about her pitching and her pitching performance for the past seven days.

You guys have been really successful of late.
"We always talk about the next two hundred feet in this program. Coach Stuedemann always talks about the next 200 feet. It's not what you did the last game but you can't look too far ahead and overlook what is in front of us. We try to go out there and try to win every pitch as a team and we'll do the scoreboard at the end. But it is really awesome to see and know that what we are doing is working."

When watching you pitch, it appears that you put so much effort into every pitch. Is that what you mean by winning every pitch?
"Yes, that is what is the difference between last season and this season, completely buying into it and really trying to focus in. It is very hard to focus on every single pitch when you are throwing 150 pitches a game. That is why you have to take that approach."

It does appear to be working because your stats in your last 4 appearances have been outstanding.
"A couple of weeks ago, Coach and I were talking about that. One thing that we have added into my daily routine was doing was having mental pitches before I go to bed, visualizing what I want my body to do. And I can definitely tell a big difference. That is coming from our Brian Cain, our mental coach. It has worked wonders. Once you see something twice it is more likely to happen."

You mentioned the mental aspect of it but think about the physical part of it as well. You threw a no-hitter against Southern Miss, then pitched twice against Florida this past weekend, then threw a 2-hitter against Lipscomb. You really aren't that big physically. How do you deal with that in 8 day period?
"Vann does a great job here as do the other coaches and the strength coach on balancing our workouts so that we can maintain our fitness level. The trainer does a great job to make sure we stay healthy. It is an entire team effort. The regiment that we have here allows us to last a long time (in a game)."

You are having a great season, and you are only a sophomore. You are 19-7 and have won three out of your last four in a 5-game week. What allows you to be so dominating on the mound at times?
"I just try to go out there and do what I can. When you see us tap our fist to our chest that is our sign that we believe in you. If I am struggling or behind in the count I can look over at my teammates and they all let me know they believe in me. This is a team sport. (If you are a pitcher) you can't go out there and catch it or field it and throw it to first. That is one of the beautiful things about this sport, you have to rely on each other. I try to do my part and help bring some food to the table."

What are your strengths as a pitcher?
"I would probably have to say my determination. Plus, I just love playing ball. I can't tell you all of my secrets but I definitely love my curveball. I also work on every single pitch and see what is working that day, just trying to get outs."

Your team plays Arkansas in an unusual weekend series, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Are you doing anything differently due to that?
"Oh my gosh, you have to look and see why it is different. It is because we are on tv. We are so thankful for that. Just having the opportunity to appear on live tv is great. It doesn't matter what day of the week it is. Plus, we get to share a holiday (Easter) with people that we love. We are a family here."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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