There is an undercover softball stud in the area, her name is Alyssa Stockton. The Delhi athlete has become a top college prospect in not only the area but also the state.
The soon to be senior, was the California strikeout leader after only her sophomore season, racking up an impressive number of 325 in only 158 innings while she accumulated an 18-8 record and an ERA of 1.91.
Now, heading into her final year at the high school level, Stockton is looking to follow up her monumental high school and travel ball career into the collegiate level with hopes of staying in the state.
“I am very proud of myself because you don’t have to be just physically fit for softball, you have to be mentally fit as well,” said Stockton. “There have been many ups and downs. My dream has always been to play softball at the collegiate level, a big plus will be that I will get to do what I love to do while getting my education.”
“As a parent I want her to stay in California, she wants to play anywhere but since we're so involved we want to stay close by to be a part of that,” said Alyssa’s mother Heather Stockton. “If she moves out of state it will be tough, but we're visiting lots of schools in California so she can stay somewhat close to home.”
Stockton's softball days haven't always been easy. She was just beginning her softball career when during a tournament she was struck in the face by a line drive and ended up in the hospital. But that didn’t stop the junior high player at the time, it only motivated her to keep at it.
“The first thing I thought afterwards was ‘that was a good hit and I am never going to let that happen again.’ Through that I pushed myself to be better instead of being afraid to go back on the mound,” Stockton said. “I came back harder to prove, not just to everyone, but to myself that I can persevere through a difficult situation. I think that experience has shaped me into the player that I am today.”
Stockton was one of only five sophomore pitchers during her second year at the varsity level to be top 20 in the country for strikeouts and she did it with the second lowest inning total pitched and was first amongst the sophomores on the list.
Stockton also had an impressive junior year, taking home the Southern Athletic League MVP honors, despite some setbacks as she tallied 241 strikeouts in 138.2 innings, leading her team to the section title game, but falling in a close 4-3 contest against Mariposa.
Stockton has tallied 566 strikeouts over two years.
Not only is Stockton impressive on the mound, but her ability to work hard and be self-motivated has transcended off the field to her becoming a leader everywhere she goes with her positivity and work ethic.
“She is a hard worker and I can’t be any more proud of her. It's awesome to see your daughter accomplish what she has,” said Heather Stockton. “So many years of hard work, I almost get more excited than her sometimes.”
Stockton is not only hitting it hard on the mound but is also doing her job in the classroom. Stockton currently has a 3.67 grade-point average after her junior year, which is important when colleges evaluate an athlete nowadays.
When she is not involved in school activities, clubs, or softball Stockton is playing volleyball for her varsity team at Delhi, showing her ability as an all-around athlete.
After her stellar and unforgettable sophomore campaign, Stockton earned first team All-State pitcher for small schools, as well as the team MVP and also was first team All-League outstanding defensive player.
She finished first in Division VI with 241 k’s and third in the Sac-Joaquin Section in strikeouts.
Stockton also earned first team All-State honors in multipurpose—hitting and pitching—for small schools after the 2014 season.
To better prepare for the next level of play, Stockton has been playing with the USA Elite 18 Gold club team, based out of Lodi, and takes pitching lessons with Jimmy Dyson at a pitching school in Riverbank.
“She has been there since last fall and she's really dedicated and loves her team, she is getting a lot of pitching time,” said Heather Stockton. ”It’s a very exciting time because she is getting a lot of looks from colleges and has visited several campuses so far. Hopefully she will verbal with a college very soon.”
With the Elite 18, Stockton has pitched 106 innings and has struck out 97 in that span against some of the toughest competition around the country.
Entering her final high school year, anything can happen. But Stockton is dedicated to the sport of softball and continuing to improve her game.
“I’ve been a part of the softball community my entire life and I will always be involved in softball in one way or another. I consider the people I play softball with and my coaches as my second family,” Stockton added. “I really would like to start my own travel organization after college to show young women that hard work is the best work and they can do anything they set their minds to.”