GRAYSON PRATHER | STAFF REPORTER
Junior Alex Kotter’s favorite food is macaroni and cheese. She likes to play “Assassin’s Creed” and “Bioshock” on PlayStation 4. She also has quite the list of accomplishments as a softball shortstop.
On top of being named Big East Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks to begin this season, Kotter came to Butler University holding the Indiana high school record for highest career batting average of .629 and the second-most career hits in Indiana high school history with 205.
The Lincoln High School graduate won countless awards from local media and has started off the season hot, with a .630 batting average, 11 runs batted in and three home runs through nine games.
Kotter said she is loving her time at Butler.
“I couldn’t have picked a better team to play for,” Kotter said. “There’s not any better people who I could listen to. Any given day, they are willing to fight for you. No matter what, no matter who we’re playing, they’re still willing to fight.”
Butler head coach Scott Hall said that Kotter’s teammates’ willingness to fight for her is a direct correlation to her character toward her teammates.
“Alex is Alex,” Hall said. “She is a great teammate to be around, always cracking jokes. She’s very light hearted, but she takes her game very serious. We are very proud of her, but we get to see that every day in practice.”
Hall is not the only one that is proud of Kotter and thinks she is a great teammate. Her best friend junior Kristin Gutierrez, a pitcher from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, knows better than anyone that Kotter has her back.
During a game when Guttierez was pitching, Kotter had to keep her calm when she came across a hot-headed batter.
“I occasionally make people mad or I hit people,” Gutierrez said, jokingly. “So at one point, (the batter) kind of looked like she was going to charge the mound.”
Kotter was playing shortstop and she told Guttierez to calm down because she had her pitcher’s back.
“But that’s just the kind of person she is,” Guttierez said. “She always has my back and I know, as a pitcher, no matter what position she’s going to be in that she’s going to be there for me and I can depend on her.”
Kotter also knows that she wants to reflect the character that she sees in Gutierrez.
“I really admire the way she plays,” Kotter said about Gutierrez. “She never really gets down on herself, or at least you can’t tell if she does, so no matter if she’s having the worst day, she’s not going to be upset with herself. One of the main goals for this season was just that if you fail, realize you have people that will pick you up. She does such a good job of it and I’d like to push myself to be like that.”
Although she is introverted, she still finds ways to be a leader on the diamond.
“I wouldn’t say [that I am] a vocal leader,” Kotter said. “But I think I try to lead more by example.”
Kotter said she has been feeling comfortable at the plate this season.
“Everything feels a lot easier,” Kotter said. “[It] definitely feels a lot easier hitting wise; everything just seems to click. Inside pitches, outside, just adjusting in the count, it is a lot easier.”
Despite her outstanding performance at the plate in the past two weekend tournaments, Kotter enjoys looking back on her plays in the field more than her hitting as her favorite recollection.
“My favorite part is fielding,” Kotter said. “I like making big plays in the field more than at the plate. All of the plays that stand out to me after playing all of my years are plays that I have made in the field like diving…or getting a ball in the hole and throwing on the run.”
Hall has been able to work with Kotter and the strength and conditioning staff here at Butler. They helped her get as healthy as possible after the injury problems she dealt with the last two years to help her be the best athlete she possibly can be.
“She has just got a great technique, great skill,” Hall said. “Her work ethic is really paying off. She came in a little bit more at the start of the season, wanted extra reps, and we’re just seeing the product of that.”
Gutierrez shows that even through the higher levels of sports, there should always be someone that helps everyone remember that they should still have fun while playing, and she knows that Gutierrez helps the Bulldogs have fun.
“She is amazing. She is this great person who just makes everything fun and makes everything come alive,” Guttierez said. “Because sports, especially college sports, is very hard and it’s very taxing along with school and trying to fit in homework and practice.
“It gets really hard, so she manages to find a way to make you have fun, so it’s great.”
Kotter said she always wants to be there for her teammates, to pick them up and help them through their experiences. She displayed her selflessness; she wants to take her knowledge and the experiences she has had and help encourage her teammates.
“I know what it is like just coming in with last year being, technically, my first year playing,” Kotter said, “so I know how nerve-racking it is. I just want all the younger players to know that we’re being them, so don’t be afraid to mess up. It is going to happen. Don’t be afraid because we will pick them back up.”