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Nevada Preps Girls Athlete of the Week: Spring Valley’s Raelynn Villanueva

Raelynn Villanueva earned a spot on the Spring Valley softball team as a freshman last year.

She learned early on that age didn’t matter and hard work did. Beginning her sophomore season, Villanueva is continuing to make an impact as an underclassman.

Villanueva recorded 10 hits in Spring Valley’s three wins last week. She went 4-for-4 in a 13-2 win over Legacy on March 7, 3-for-4 in a 14-5 win against Pahrump Valley last Wednesday and 3-for-4 in a 10-4 win over Las Vegas on Friday.

For her efforts, she was named Nevada Preps Girls Athlete of the Week.

“We’re working together as a team, which is allowing us to rely on each other and pick each other up and support each other,” Villanueva said.

Entering Tuesday, Villanueva leads the Grizzlies with a .692 batting average.

Villanueva played with her travel club softball team in the offseason, and she said that has helped her during the high school season.

“It’s really high competition, and the intensity level is really high,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva, who pitches and plays third base, said an area of focus was improving her swing, and she said she felt the improvements pay off last week.

“My swing definitely feels a lot better,” Villanueva said. “I’ve really developed my swing over the past year.”

Hitting near the top of the lineup, Villanueva said it’s important for the Grizzlies to get their leadoff hitters on. She said the energy it gives the team helps the rest of the lineup.

“I think it really does start at the beginning of the game,” Villanueva said. “If the top of the lineup gets on, then I think the energy stays high throughout the whole game.”

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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