When you look at Alyssa Nicholas' stats from the 2012 softball season, you'd think you'd need an eye exam. Her pheromonal season received the attention of many - it earned her a scholarship to play at the University of Akron.
Nicholas, a senior catcher for Lakeview, who was also recruited to play third base, helped the Bulldogs go 19-4 and advance to a district final in 2012. She batted .545 with 10 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs (a school record) and 25 RBIs. Nicholas has started since she was a freshman and has been named first-team All-American Conference her first three seasons.
For Nicholas, the opportunity to play at Akron is exhilarating.
"I'm ecstatic. I always think about it," she said. "It makes me really want to improve my skills right now so I can be a very good Division I athlete."
Nicholas was drawn to the University of Akron and felt comfortable with the coaching staff, a primary reason why she signed with the Zips.
"I attended their camps since eighth grade," Nicholas said. "The coaches make it feel like you're at home. They're very helpful. They show you what you can improve on, what you can do to be better."
Nicholas' year-round training and dedication to softball has made her the athlete that she is today.
"Every night, I grab my dad and tell him let's go to the cage in the old gym at Lakeview High School. We do 30 minutes of soft toss," Nicholas said. "We'll work on throwdowns for catching, work on my fielding. When it comes to summer, my backyard is a baseball field. I'm out there everyday, hitting, having my dad hit me ground balls."
To keep her skill set sharp, Nicholas also plays on a traveling softball team during the summer.
Lakeview softball coach Vicki Lawrence is glad to have someone of Nicholas' caliber on the roster.
"Alyssa is a great leader, she leads by example and that's a coaches dream," Lawrence said. "She never complains. She comes in, gets the team ready, so when I get there (to practice), the team is ready to go. She never horses around at practice, she always give us everything she has at practice. I couldn't ask for a better player."
Being her senior year, Nicholas wants to build upon last year's success and leave a memorable imprint with Lakeview's softball program.
"I'm so excited to play this season and to see how far we can go," Nicholas said. "I want to become a leader, a person my teammates look up to, the one they can count on. I want to break my home run record from last year - 12 is my magic number.
"I expect us to go pretty far in tournaments. I really want to win districts and go to regionals, that'd be awesome. It would be cool to get to state."