The desert heat baked the softball field as Alexa Couto crouched behind the plate.
The Coastside catcher was far from home as her team competed in the Reno Triple Crown World Series. The trip to Nevada was also a personal journey from pig-tailed Little Leaguer to A-ball athlete, and that journey appears nowhere near complete.
Like many little girls who live in Half Moon Bay, Couto started out playing T-ball in Half Moon Bay Little League. She was 5 years old and clearly in the minority as one of the only girls on the team.
“I liked playing baseball because it challenged me to be better than the boys,” Couto said. “I love baseball, but I also love softball. If I had to choose one, that would be hard. It’s like choosing your favorite child.”
As Couto made the move from Half Moon Bay Little League to Half Moon Bay Waves softball, she found friends among her teammates.
“She actually already knew a majority of the girls,” said her mother, Kate Couto. “She went into softball with a whole group of people that she grew up with, so that was really fun and comforting for her.”
After years in the local dugout, Alexa Couto made the jump to Class A softball. The division is considered the highest level of competition.
“A-ball is a million times more competitive,” she said. “It’s much more serious.”
Making the Nor Cal Blast softball team was just one hurdle she had to hop on her way to the starting lineup.
“There are 16 girls on her team,” said Kate Couto. “Alexa has had to literally fight to work her way up.
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