Avalos off to strong start in conference

Avalos guards the hot corner for the Vikings.
Avalos guards the hot corner for the Vikings.

BARSTOW - Alyssa Avalos has made opposing teams pay so far this season.

Avalos plays third base for the Vikings and bats fifth in the lineup. The freshman hits behind cleanup hitter Annemarie Hernandez, who has drawn nine walks already this season with five of them being intentional. Avalos has come up big when the opposition decides not to pitch to Hernandez. Avalos is hitting .636 in the conference with a team-high seven RBI. She has two bases clearing doubles that immediately followed a Hernandez walk.

"She is mentally our strongest player," said coach Tim Syrek. "When they walk Annemarie she sees it as a challenge."

Avalos has been strong on defense and uses her body to play third at a high level.

"Few balls get through the hot corner," Syrek said. "When the play needs to be made she finds a way. She sacrifices her body on defense and has been clutch at the plate."

Avalos works hard on ger skills. She has plenty of versatility with the ability to play second, outfield and catcher.

"We never want to take her off third base, but she has the team-first mentality to play wherever she is needed," Syrek said. "She's got a great personality for the game. Alyssa is a leader on our team by how she plays and acts. You never see stress on her face. She plays in the moment."

Barstow had three games cancelled this week. Friday's game at San Bernardino have been moved to April 10 due to rain. The Vikings are 6-6-1 on the season. Avalos and her crew will be back in action Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. against Antelope Valley.