By Paige Nash
Minden High School Senior Kylie Ryan signed with Trinity Valley Community College to continue her academic and softball career. Ryan had close to 100 members of her family, friends, past teachers, teammates and coaches show up in support of her decision at this signing held earlier this month, Nov. 1, on the new MHS softball field where she will end her high school career before moving onto this next big step.
Head softball coach Shelby Leach has coached Ryan since her sophomore year and describes her as a strong leader who loves her team and coaches. She said, “For the last two and a half years, I’ve watched Kylie grind day in and day out to be the very best she can be. She’s a force on both sides of the ball. She’s a dream player.”
According to Leach she has nominated Ryan on numerous occasions for different awards locally and statewide, but for some reason she “keeps coming up short.” Since she was not yet coaching at MHS during Ryan’s freshman year, she could not provide her stats, but did have a rundown for her sophomore and junior seasons.
Sophomore Year (2022): All-District 1st Team Pitcher — Batting: 571 avg, 12 doubles, 5 triples, 10 HR, 44 RBIs, 50 R, 17 bb, 4SO, 659 OBP, 1.343 SLUG
Pitching: 90 IP, 23 GP, 14 wins (19 GS), 7 losses, 451 BF, 126 SO, 89 H, 94 R, 52 ER, 4.04 ERA
Leach said, “She played half the season with a broken foot and our team was 18-10.”
Junior Year (2023): All-District 1st Team Pitcher, All-Area Honorable Mention (Shreveport Times) — Batting: 94 ABs, 468 avg, 16 doubles, 3 triples, 11 HR, 46 RBIs, 36 R, 18 bb, 12 so, 558 OBP, 1.053 SLUG
Pitching: 150 IP, 16 wins (27GS), 10 losses, 191 SO, 126 H, 148 R, 73 ER, 3.4 ERA
“This was a much tougher schedule, still playing with the same broken foot that wouldn’t heal properly and our team was 20-12,” said Leach.
Going into her Senior year, Ryan still has a year to play and is well on the way to breaking many records set at MHS. “Now that she’s signed to play college ball, she can relax and just play. She’s going to bust it open this spring,” said Leach. “I cannot wait for spring 2024 to see what this team does with Kylie leading them on the mound. This will be her best year yet. This is just the beginning of her career and I’m just so glad that I get to be the one to experience this with her as her head coach.”
This upcoming season will be the first played at their new facility. Last week the Minden Evening Lions Club and American Legion Wiley-Pevy Post 74 presented the team a new American Flag to fly at the field.
Softball tryouts will be held next Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 4 to 5:15 p.m.