By Connor Mullins

Alyssa Washington, a senior shortstop for the AHS softball team, signed her letter of intent with the University of Texas on November 13th to continue her stellar play.

Washington was originally committed to the University of North Carolina, but once UT contacted her, her loyalties changed.

“When UT [University of Texas] first contacted me it was kind of surreal,” Washington said. “I couldn’t believe it. It was a decision that was best for me because it’s close to home. It was better for my family because they live in Austin, so overall UT was where my heart was at.”

Washington, earning offers from multiple NCAA Division 1 softball programs, was heavily recruited.

“UNC [University of North Carolina] was my first offer but I had a lot of interest,” Washington said. “I had an unofficial visit at Minnesota. When I committed to UNC I still had some interest because I was so young. I talked to Memphis before I committed to UNC, they were interested. UNT [University of North Texas] and Wichita State were also interested.

Lady Eagles head softball coach Jim Reese had high praise for his rising star.

“She’s a three-year starter and will be a starter in her fourth year,” Reese said. “She’s one of the best girls I’ve ever been around and she’s a great leader. She was an all-district player the past two years. She’s a great hitter and a great shortstop. The best part about her is that she’s a better person than she is a player. Out of all the people I’ve ever coached, even in baseball, she’s one of the two or three best players I’ve ever been around; she’s really that talented.”

Reese is very excited to see Washington play at UT and believes her qualities as a player and her work ethic led her to this major milestone in her young career.

“She works really hard,” Reese said. “We were really excited when she was going to go to UNC, but this is even better because it’s closer and it’s UT so it really doesn’t get any better than that.”

Reese received multiple phone calls from college softball coaches regarding Washington and her recruitment status.

“We did get some calls from coaches,” Reese said. “With Alyssa, what happened was that she committed to UNC before her sophomore year and that was the year I was coming, so we knew that she kind of thought she knew where she was going. But over the last couple of years, I think people backed away because they thought she was going to UNC and then this year people started telling UT about her. The coach at UT, coach White, was trying to get ahold of her and wasn’t able to until about four weeks ago. She thought they had given up on her, but then when coach White contacted her, she realized they still had a scholarship and offered it to her. So the day after she visited UNC, she committed to UT. We’re pumped and excited for Alyssa.”