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High school softball: Alexandria’s Lingenfelter relentless on field

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — Diane Bush has been the Alexandria softball coach for 32 years.

So when she refers to Amanda Lingenfelter as the type of player every coach hopes for, or when she calls her one of the most tenacious athletes she has ever seen, you know those comments carry a lot of weight.

“You have a lot of athletes come through and she’s one of those that you’ll never forget,” Bush said of her senior catcher.

“She has God-given talent, but to go with that, she also has a tremendous attitude,” Bush added. “She’s able to let things go and move on, and she’s one of those kids that will never give up. She’s going to keep pursuing things until she’s satisfied, and she’s not often satisfied.”

Lingenfelter has been Alexandria’s starting catcher since her freshman year and is the program’s all-time leader with 19 career triples.

This past Monday, Lingenfelter broke the record for most career putouts at the catcher position with 403. She also holds the school’s single-season record in both categories.

“I didn’t really know that I would have the opportunity to break records until I found out that I had already broken two of them,” Lingenfelter said. “So that was really great to hear. And then breaking the putout record was just a great, amazing feeling.”

Lingenfelter is also within reach of Alexandria records for most career hits, home runs and runs batted in. She has been a Frontier League and Section 3 all-star in each of her three previous seasons.

Bush refers to Lingenfelter’s skill set — speed, power and defensive prowess — as the ideal “triple threat.”

“She’s a threat at the plate, she’s a threat on the bases and she’s a threat in the field,” Bush said. “If I were an opponent, I would not want to see that young lady come up to bat.”

Lingenfelter is the youngest of three girls in her family. Her sisters, Cassandra and Tiffany, excelled for the Purple Ghosts as Amanda was growing up.

Cassandra Lingenfelter, a pitcher, graduated as the school’s leader for most strikeouts in a single game, season and career.

Amanda Lingenfelter was behind the plate when each of those records was broken two years ago by Jordan Bush, Diane’s daughter.

“I used to want to be a pitcher like (Cassandra), then Tiffany used to catch and she played shortstop, so I watched both of them play,” Lingenfelter said.

“I watched when they would win a game and how happy they would get,” she added. “So I set a goal that I would be on JV in seventh grade and then to varsity as soon as possible so I could play up there.”

Lingenfelter originally followed in her sister Cassandra’s footsteps as a pitcher when she started playing junior varsity as a seventh grader.

But the next season, Lingenfelter said she tried the catcher position because no one else wanted to play it.

“I just thought, why not try it?” Lingenfelter said. “I was a goalie (in hockey) when I was younger and I was kind of good with my hands, and it was just the right position for me.”

This season, Alexandria’s young squad that features just one other senior is off to a 4-3 start with a pair of losses to the defending “D” Division champion, LaFargeville.

“For the kids that we have, we’re doing pretty well,” Lingenfelter said. “The younger kids are starting to show they can compete with other varsity teams. They’re really pulling their own weight.”

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