Elissa Brown defines team motto: Homemade not store bought

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Elissa Brown defines team motto: Homemade not store bought

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James Benedetto, Sports Writer

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As the 2019 season begins for Alabama softball, the team is rallying around the idea of being “homemade, not store bought.” For Elissa Brown, being homemade cannot be fabricated. It is who she is.

“I think Elissa is a great representative of that motto because she is from Alabama and she knows about the culture of Alabama softball more than some of us who are coming from out of state,” sophomore Kaylee Tow said. “She just models that culture of when you come here, we care about you and care about not just what you are doing here. It is not cookie cutter. You are not just a process.”

Brown, who is from Eclectic, Alabama, was a Crimson Tide fan growing up. For her, wearing the script “A” means something a little different for her.

“I have always had Alabama fans in my family, so it was always a dream to play softball here,” Brown said. “It is just amazing that I even made it. I always love representing Eclectic with whatever I do, and I have so much support from there. I just love it here, and I am so glad to be here.”

That passion that she has about Alabama is apparent in everything that she does. Tow said that even on days where she is exhausted from school, Brown’s energy gives her a boost to be energetic about whatever is going on.

“She is just always fun and in anything she does,” Tow said. “When we are [on the field], she is going to make you excited in what is going on. If we are in the library, we are reading a history book, she is going to make you excited about what is going on. That is really Elissa, she brings a spark, an energy to whatever she is doing.”

Brown’s spark is seen on the field just as much as it is off the field. In 2018, Brown was fourth in the nation in stolen bases with 30. Brown stole 30 bases on 34 attempts, which pushed her into fifth all-time in stolen base percentage in Alabama program history.

“Since the beginning, [Coach Patrick Murphy] has given us the green light,” Brown said. “There are a few girls that have the green light, so if you are on base you are looking to steal the first or second pitch.”

Brown continued her analysis by saying that she will communicate with the batter behind her, telling her what pitch she is looking to steal on. Brown also reads the defense’s alignment to gain every advantage that she can over the opposing team.

“I just have to trust myself and just go, because any misstep, you’re going to be thrown out,” Brown said.

Although Brown had a huge year for the Crimson Tide last season, there is always room for improvement. Murphy said that he wants Brown to focus on having a higher on base percentage to create more opportunities to score.

For the two years Brown has played for Alabama, Murphy has seen consistent growth in her play.

“Last year she improved from freshman to sophomore without a doubt,” Murphy said. “She’s been a much tougher out. I think her plate discipline is much greater. She’s got much better bat control. She can read a defense better. Her steals have always been great, and I have told her for two years we need to get her 50.”

Murphy mentioned that Brown’s improvement, while impressive, is not just physical.

“The whole mental aspect of softball, too,” Murphy said. “Her freshman year it was a little bit of a roller coaster, she would have a great weekend then a bad weekend, but by the end of the year, she was awesome. Last year, she was coming on at the end of the year, so we need a steady, consistent lead-off.”

Brown’s passion clearly seems to be paying off. Brown was recently named to the Top 50 Watch List for USA Softball Player of the Year.

“I still sometimes go ‘Wow, I can’t believe I am here,’” Brown said. “I am just extremely blessed to be here. I have loved every minute of and will continue to love every minute of it. I love the ‘A’ across my chest. I love it.”