Alvarez got a job as an administrator for Miami Dade County Public Schools — where she still works — and her experience in pro softball ultimately led her back to her first love, baseball.
She hit .750 for the 2008 World Cup team, which played in Japan. In 2010, Alvarez hit .325 in the World Cup in Venezuela, which was played while heavily armed security guards hovered around every corner of the stadiums.
Alvarez said a player from China was shot in the leg — apparently by a stray bullet from one of the surrounding neighborhoods. She was playing shortstop when she was struck.
The player survived, but the tournament was suspended for three days.
“The news didn’t even make the ticker on ESPN,” Alvarez said, lamenting the lack of coverage for women’s baseball. “Can you imagine?”
Alvarez still gets frustrated when she says she plays baseball, and people respond: “Oh, you mean softball.”
No, Alvarez will reply: “I think I know what I play.”
Padron, the coach at Florida Christian, said Alvarez has a strong arm and frames and receives the ball well behind the plate.
Offensively, Padron said Alvarez had to adjust to the increased velocity. Women baseball players can throw up to mid-70s mph, which is significantly slower than male high school or college players.
“But she’s got a very good swing,” he said. “She squares up a lot of balls and hits gap to gap.”
Alvarez practiced with Florida Christian’s team during the second half of the Patriots’ 2012 season.
“I think they thought I was an alien,” Alvarez jokingly said of the boys’ initial reaction to her. ”But after awhile, I was just like another teenage boy on the team.
“That, to me, is respect.”