Former Pearland softball standout plays at WCWS


PEARLAND — Former Pearland All-State pitcher Alyssa Denham was seen on national television when her Arizona Lady Wildcats softball team advanced to the Women's College World Series played at the USA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City last week.

Dunham was one of Pearland's top players in high school where she was also selected to the All-Greater Houston team her senior year after posting a sparkling 21-3 pitching record with a 0.98 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 149.2 innings. She was 21-2 pitching her junior season for a 42-5 mark for the Lady Oilers.

The righthander played at Louisiana-Lafayette her first year in college where she was named Sun Belt "Freshman of the Year" after going 15-2 with a 2.27 ERA over 28 appearances (20 starts). She was one of 25 finalists for NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year; she tossed 129.1 innings and limited opponents to a .205 average. She posted a pair of wins vs. top-5 teams: No. 4 Alabama (two-hit shutout) and No. 4 Texas A&M. She was an all-Sun Belt first team selection while being named Louisiana Sports Writers Association Freshman of the Year.

Denham transferred to Arizona following the firing of the Louisiana-Lafayette head coach who was charged with verbally abusing his players.

In 2018, Denham was named third-team All-Pac-12 after she went 11-3 with a 1.85 ERA in 23 appearances. She struck out 72 batters in 106 innings; held opponents to a .227 batting average; and threw four shutouts in her eight complete games. Her 1.85 ERA ranked eighth in the Pac-12 and 63rd nationally while she walked just 26 batters in 106 innings.

In 2019, Denham posted a 13-6 mark with a 1.95 ERA while striking out 112 in 108.1 innings. She limited opponents to a .205 batting average while issuing 38 walks.

Arizona has been one of the top softball programs in the country for many years having collected eight NCAA softball titles.

The Lady Wildcats opened the 2019 World Series with a 3-1 win over Washington in eight innings. Arizona lost the next game to another softball power 12-time national champion UCLA 6-2 and then were eliminated by Alabama 2-0.

Dunham is the daughter of Steven and Kathy Denham. She has three older sisters: Stephenie, Jessica and Tiffany. All three sisters played softball at McNeese State University. A kinesiology major with an emphasis on physical education, Denham plans on being a physical education teacher.