Alyson Ambler will be a Husky ... a Connecticut Husky, that is.
The Walla Walla High School ace pitcher/first baseman will head to UConn next fall on a full-ride scholarship. Though she garnered interest from Washington, Oregon and Oregon State, among other colleges, Ambler decided to head east.
"I had taken a lot of visits, including a lot of them around (the Northwest), but I still wanted to check out more because that one wasn’t quite it," said Ambler, the 2011 Gatorade Washington Softball Player of the Year. "When I stepped on campus at UConn and experienced it all, when I left, I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else. It was just a feeling."
Ambler harbors big aspirations for her college years. Aside from pitching and playing outfield, she also will get to hit, an exciting prospect for someone who batted .500 last season. But Ambler's even more jazzed to help UConn establish a national presence. Winning Big East Player of the Year is one of her goals.
"I want to go to a place where I can change it, and instead of just UConn being known for basketball, I want it to be like, 'Hey, UConn can play softball, too,' " said Ambler, who hopes to go into medicine after college.
Even with the graduation of pitcher/first baseman Hope Klicker (College of Charleston), the Walla Walla softball team bears a strong core of Division I talent. Ambler, Andrea Hamada (San Diego State) and Libbie Jimenez (Boise State) helped the Blue Devils win the 4A state title last year. Also, catcher Kendsey Hill is considering the University of Utah or BYU.
"We definitely have our eyes on the prize again," Ambler said. "We’re setting the goal of getting the state title again. We lost a couple players, but I think we’ll be just fine. Some people are coming back even stronger."