WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: COVID-19 shutdown just latest challenge for AHS ace Salazar

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15 or until the UIL rules that high school athletics statewide may resume. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

While she had been on varsity since she was a freshman and was good enough last year to earn All-Big Country Preps honors as a third baseman, Abilene High senior Aubrianna Salazar considered this to be her year.

Standout pitcher Kaylen Washington, who had led the Lady Eagles to the Region I-6A quarterfinals in 2018 and an undefeated run through District 3-6A in 2019, graduated last spring, handing Salazar the staff ace title in addition to her existing roles at the hot corner and in the middle of the Lady Eagles batting order.

The future Hardin-Simmons Cowgirl had reached her senior year, and it was her time to shine.

But after having her final high school season staggered by a knee injury scare in the offseason and a foot injury that cost her eight games from late February to early March, Salazar could do little but sigh when it was a global pandemic that may have finally landed the knockout blow to her AHS career.

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