BARSTOW - Setting her sights high is nothing new for Alysia Sanchez.
The sophomore has not only excelled on the field this year, but has decided to aim high in her life after Barstow by joining the United States Air Force after completing her Associates Degree.
"I want to travel the world, explore new things and have an adventure outside of my comfort zone," she said. "I want to help defend our nation, have a sense of duty and be patriotic."
Sanchez has been a valuable member of the Barstow softball team. She started out as a shortstop, but moved to catcher due to injuries. She's helped the team to 16 wins so far this season just two years removed from the college not fielding a team.
"She's a great defensive player and she sacrifices her body for her team," said coach Tim Syrek. "She could have easily played softball at a four-year school, but when I found out she wanted to join the Air Force I was so excited for her."
Sanchez said the decision to join the Air Force was an easy one. The Barstow native will join this summer after completing her degree.
"Both sides of my family have served in the military," she said. "I was going to join after high school, but the passing of my brother made me want to stay with my family. Now that I will have my associates degree I will be able to go in as an officer."
Sanchez is a leader on the team. She's a captain for softball and the type of player who leads by example.
"She's not always a vocal leader, but she works incredibly hard and puts her teammates first," Syrek added. "She has the respect of her teammates because of the quality of person she is on and off the field. She has played through injuries and just doesn't want to let her teammates down."
The softball season is winding down for Barstow with the last game Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. against College of the Canyons. While softball may be coming to a close, Sanchez knows there is a world out there for her to explore.
"I feel like this is my purpose in life," she said. "I want to see what I am capable of doing."