Alyssa Palomino looks to rebound after two tough injuries
If you’re looking for a player who embodies the word “toughness”, you don’t have to look much further than Arizona softball’s Alyssa Palomino.
She was a four-year letter winner at Mission Viejo High School in California where she also competed for the U.S. Junior National Team, helping them win gold in the Junior World Women’s Championship. She set the Junior World Women’s Championship record for runs batted in, with 27 in the tournament.
But her college career has been hindered by a series of serious knee injuries.
In 2016, as a true freshman at Arizona, the outfielder tore her right ACL on the first day of fall practice, forcing her to redshirt the year.
After a year of rehabbing, she came back during the 2017 season, in a big way. Palomino was first-team all-region, second-team All Pac-12 and a member of the Pac-12 all-freshman team. She was also one of 25 finalists for NFCA/Schutt Sports DI Freshman of the Year.
She finished third in the Pac-12 in home runs and fifth in RBIs with 54, which was fourth among all freshman in the NCAA. She started all 55 regular season games, the final 54 at center field after Opening Day, when she was in right field.
Then, just two days before the NCAA tournament began, Palomino tore her left ACL. It was a brutal way for her impressive debut season to come to an end.
Before the 2018 season began, however, head coach Mike Candrea said that she was almost completely recovered.
“It’s good. I mean, Alyssa right now, I would say, is 95%,” Candrea said. “The five percent is more about her lack of having at-bats and playing the game at that speed all the time. She’s a tough kid, loves to play the game; I think she’s a very quick healer.”
Palomino will look to have another strong season as the power hitter of the Wildcats, and will try not to let her injuries hinder her. Already, in the ‘Cats first game of the season against Northwestern, she had a two-run home run in the sixth inning that helped the Wildcats to a 4-1 victory.
She’ll look to keep the season going in the same direction as it started, and she will once again be a key. piece to a tournament run for Arizona.
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