St. Francis softball junior first baseman Ali Dittrich, of Batavia, is already a three-year varsity veteran, ascending to the No. 3 spot in the Spartans’ order this season. Dittrich spoke to Kane County Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab for this week’s Weekend Chit-chat, during which she discussed her season, her family history with St. Francis and next week’s IHSA Class 3A St. Francis Regional, at which the Spartans open play Tuesday against IMSA. The following is an edited transcript:
What do you consider the biggest strong suit in your game?
Probably my hitting. Yeah, I’d say my hitting. I focus on that mainly. It’s just what I love most about the game.
What are you most proud of so far this season? Maybe a certain game, a certain at-bat that’s been the highlight to this point?
I don’t know, I’d probably have to say for our spring training trip, we went to Florida, and we just went out there and played very well. Probably that. We came back and we were 3-1.
I’d have to imagine you guys had a lot of fun off the field down there also?
Oh yeah, so much fun. We went to Disney, spent a lot of time out there laying out in sun. It was so much fun.
What’s the toughest pitch for you to hit? Does it vary game to game?
Yeah, it probably just depends on what the pitcher’s speed is, what her best pitch is. Some pitchers throw riseballs that are so hard to lay off of because it looks like it’s coming perfectly in, and sometimes a pitcher will throw a changeup that is so hard to lay off of.
With [St. Francis pitcher Maggie Remus] being coach Remus’ daughter, can you sense that special connection with them?
Not really. It’s tough love for all of us. He loves all of us equally well. Obviously he loves Maggie because she’s his daughter but he puts us all out there and I’d say he treats us all as if we were his daughter so I really don’t think it makes a difference that Maggie is coach Remus’ daughter.
What do you think of the regional ahead of you guys next week?
We’re really excited for it. We hosted our regional last year and a lot of people came out for it and I know that helps us a lot. I know we’re looking forward to it and I know everyone else on the team is [excited] that we get home field for that.
What brought you to St. Francis?
I’ve gone to Catholic school my whole life. It was between St. Francis or Rosary and both of my older brothers (John Ryan and Jake) went to St. Francis and loved it. I shadowed there when I was in eighth grade and I fell in love with it.
What is your summer softball agenda shaping up like?
It’s awesome. I play for the Wasco Diamonds 18U Bill Morrow team. We’re going to [the Pennsbury college exposure tournament in Pennsylvania] and then playing a couple tournaments around here but then we go to Hall of Fame tournament in Oklahoma City and from there we go to Colorado and play in the Fireworks, and then come back and play in the Metro tournament and a couple other tournaments, and then we’re heading down to Montgomery, Alabama for ASA nationals.