Home is where the softball field lies.
Ellysa Butterfield lived in Austin, Texas, for 12 years and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for three years, and for the last two years she’s called Bothell home and has brought her glove, bat and positivity to the North Creek High squad.
At press time, the Jaguars sported a 2-0 record in 4A KingCo action and a 3-1 overall mark. Butterfield, who plays wherever the team needs her in the infield and outfield, was hitting a hot .500 through those first four games.
Butterfield, who was born in Texas and whose family moved to this area for her mom’s work, likes the Jaguar family oriented atmosphere.
“I definitely love that as a softball program ‘cause I love to come to softball practice every day (and) softball games ‘cause I look forward to seeing my friends and playing with them,” Butterfield said about 90 minutes before North Creek hosted Mount Si on March 20 and notched a 13-2 victory.
The team’s lone senior said it’s been a challenge and a learning experience for the Jaguars to get into the 4A KingCo mix since the school opened just two years ago. They didn’t have any seniors on the roster last year and Butterfield holds the senior torch this season.
“Last year, I think everyone underestimated us ‘cause they didn’t really know who we were and how many people we had, so we just had to prove ourselves. This year, it’s building on what we started last year and improving,” said Butterfield, whose team made the playoffs last year.
Key Jaguar players are Malia Pinder (.455); Ashley Saenz (.455), a double and two RBIs against Mount Si; Sierra Hein (17 putouts); Mckenna Fialdini (.400), three hits (two doubles) and two RBIs against Mount Si; Carli Zanassi, two hits and two RBIs against Mount Si; Averi Egbert, two doubles against Mount Si; and pitchers Riley Madsen (win versus Mount Si) and Elizabeth Peoples.
Butterfield has played both baseball and softball over the years, and has also mixed in some basketball along the way. First it was T-ball softball, then baseball until sixth grade and back to softball her freshman year after taking a break from sports for a bit.
She missed the camaraderie with her fellow players during her hiatus from the diamond: “So I tried it again and I fell in love again, so I just keep grinding with my team,” she said.
In the personal-connection realm, softball takes a front seat over baseball because of the time spent with the girls.
“You can spill your secrets to them a little bit better,” Butterfield said with a laugh. “I definitely love where I’m at now and I wouldn’t change it.”
The Reporter asked Butterfield a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
I think Dick’s burgers because they didn’t have that (in Louisiana and Texas). It’s kind of like a Seattle and here thing. I really love going there with my friends.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I just hate feet. I hate seeing feet, so I always have socks on. Everyone around me never takes their socks off because they know that I just can’t stand looking at or touching feet. It’s just so gross. (laughs)
What’s something unique about yourself that someone wouldn’t know about?
I think that moving experience. I don’t really go out and tell everyone, “Hey, I’m not from here.” Sometimes they definitely can tell, they say I talk different, like I say, “y’all” and stuff. (She likes to experience the different communities she’s lived in.)
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Definitely keeping the confidence in yourself and staying positive, maybe not just for yourself, either, maybe for a teammate that might be struggling.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
I like hip-hop and R&B mostly, a lot of rap.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
“Coach Carter,” it’s a basketball movie. I love watching that movie, I could watch it a million times.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Probably my favorite basketball player of all time who is Chris Paul. And if that couldn’t happen, probably Dwyane Wade. My two favorite basketball players.
What special skill would you like to learn?