Every team needs an athlete who can play more than one position skillfully and contributes in many ways.
Alyssa Anderson has been one of the most versatile players for the unbeaten Brainerd Warrior softball team this season.
The senior is hitting .457, second on the team, with three doubles, two triples and eight RBI. She hasn't struck out in 35 at bats. She starts at first base, plays shortstop when Megan Arns pitches, and has not committed an error. Anderson also is one of the team's five captains.
Anderson enjoyed a big day last weekend as the Warriors won the Detroit Lakes tournament with three victories.
Alyssa Anderson profile
Sport -- Fast-pitch softball
Positions -- First base, shortstop
Year -- Senior
Age -- 18
Height -- 5-foot-6
Weight -- 130 pounds
Grade-point average -- 3.68
Memorable sports achievement -- Playing in Class 3A state softball tournament in 2002
School activities -- Art club, student council, class cabinet
Favorite subject -- Art
Favorite food -- Mashed potatoes
Favorite movie -- "The Graduate"
Hobbies -- Painting, playing guitar
Future plans -- Attend California State at San Bernadino, Calif., major in art or business
Athlete she admires -- Teammate Jackie Sullivan
Parents -- Tonya and Rick Caughey, Scott Anderson
In a 4-3 victory against Fergus Falls, she had an RBI single in the first and hit a smash with the bases loaded in the eighth that was mishandled, allowing the winning run to score.
Against Fargo West, in a 6-4 victory for the championship, Anderson went 4-for-4 with a double, RBI and scored twice.
"I've never really felt that awake before, at that time of the morning," Anderson said. "I had lots of energy. I had a good eye at the plate. My baserunning wasn't the greatest. I felt confident at plate. I didn't think the pitchers were that difficult to hit off of, and people were getting on the sacks so it was easier to push them around."
Anderson continued her hot hitting Tuesday against St. Cloud Apollo as she went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBI.
She played shortstop as a sophomore but has primarily played first base the last two seasons.
"First base, I feel comfortable with," Anderson said. "I think I'm pretty good at it, better than last year anyway. Shortstop I can jump in and play. I've played ball my whole life. I've played everywhere."
Warriors coach Mike Zauhar appreciates Anderson's versatility and her attitude about playing either position.
"Alyssa has solidified our infield," Zauhar said. "She's made some outstanding catches over there on difficult plays, balls in the dirt when she's had to come up with a scoop. She's been outstanding on the defensive end.
"She's had a number of at bats where she's gotten the big hit to drive in runs or start a rally."
Not to be overlooked among Anderson's contributions is her leadership.
"It's helped me as a player," she said of being a captain, "just because I want to be a good example. I like being in charge, getting stuff done. It's helped me as a person. I feel like I have a job on the team."
Other notable efforts by Warriors:
Kevin Mertens, baseball, shut out St. Cloud Tech 10-0 and struck out 14 in a 6-1 victory vs. Apollo.
Erin Donnelly, softball, pitched a no-hitter vs. Apollo.
Abby Rehberger and Megan Arns, softball, were 3-for-4 vs. Sauk Rapids.
Justin Grunewald, track, won two events in a triangular at Apollo.
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