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Arlington's Milless sparkles on the diamond
EVERETT — After two superstar softball seasons at Everett Community College, Arlington High School graduate Allie Milless had no intentions on playing out the rest of her collegiate career at a four-year school.
And it wasn’t for a lack of talent, or because of sketchy grades. Truth is, she has the talent of two players and the grades that skew the classroom curve.
“I came into the season knowing I wasn’t going to play next year,” she said. “I was going to go hard this year, pitch well and not play next year.”
But then, suddenly, that changed.
“Last week (late May) and out of the blue I decided I wanted to keep playing,” Milless said. “I said to myself ‘I need to keep playing.’ So, I told coach (Randy Smith) that. He has done a great job helping me to know what my options are.”
Her options were simple — send out a few letters, 20 to be exact, and sit and wait. Except she didn’t have to wait too long.
She soon heard back from most of the schools she contacted. After sifting through the good and the not-so-good offers, Milless slimmed down her list to two schools, Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Ore. and Jamestown University in North Dakota.
“I heard from Northwest that same day I emailed them,” Milless said. “The coach there has been very interested. He calls just about every day to find out how I am doing. I like Northwest a lot — the area, the campus and their field.”
It comes as no surprise why Milless is receiving such prompt and positive attention. In late May she was named the Everett Community College Female Athlete of the Year. She won the EvCC Academic Leader award and she earned a spot on the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges All-Tournament Team for pitching.
Everett finished second at the tournament on May 23. Milless won five of seven games and had a combined 41 strikeouts. Her sterling 3.79 grade-point average earned her the distinguished Academic Leader award.
“It was so random,” Milless said about being named female athlete of the year. “I was very proud and happy to know I was selected. We had a big dinner and then I had to get up on the stage and say a few words. I was freaked because I am horrible when it comes to public speaking.”
Although she has yet to choose a school, Milless is leaning toward Northwest University. The small D-II school has about 600 students, half of whom are athletes, according to Milless.
“After going to Oregon, I was really impressed with the school and the coaches,” she said. “It is very small, and I really like that. We met the admission advisers and they were super nice.”
Coaches from Jamestown University flew from North Dakota to watch Milless play in the NWAACC tournament, where she wowed them by pitching five games without showing any signs of fatigue, just pure guts and determination.
“They (Jamestown coaches) don’t usually recruit transfer students. They like to have them as freshmen,” Milless said. “The school (Jamestown) is basically the same as the school in Oregon, it’s just further away and has more people.”
Other schools to have contacted Milless include George Fox (Newberg, Ore.), St. Martins (Lacey, Wash.), and University of Puget Sound in Seattle.
“Everything is up in the air,” Milless said. “Just because I am leaning toward the Oregon school that doesn’t mean I am going there. I want to decide by end of June.”