When it comes to high-pressure situations on the softball field, Grantsville High graduate Kylee Leach knows a thing or two about big games.
Whether it’s winning back-to-back Class 3A state championships during the high school season with the Cowboys, or playing for national titles with her travel-ball team, the Firecrackers, Leach has not only been there, but she has thrived. That’s why Pima Community College, one of the top junior-college programs in the country, came calling for her and offered her a scholarship to attend the school in Tucson, Arizona.
“I’ve been in plenty of pressure situations, so I think that’ll help,” Leach said. “Having a lot of different coaching experience, I think that will hep because I know a lot of different coaching styles from high school to travel ball and camps that I did.”
Leach won’t be the only Grantsville product suiting up for the Aztecs next season. She will be joined by 2017 GHS graduate Alese Casper, who just completed a successful freshman season at Pima.
“(Casper’s) the only one I know, so it’s nice to have her there and show me around and be a good teammate,” Leach said. “She knows a little bit of my background and I know a little bit of hers, so that’s nice, too.”
Leach is coming off a successful high school career at Grantsville, where she was an integral part of the Cowboys’ state title teams in 2017 and 2018. The Cowboys went 49-10 over her final two seasons, and she was a truly dangerous hitter. She started earning steady playing time as a sophomore, hitting .317 with a home run and four doubles. The next year, her batting average improved to .374 with six home runs, seven doubles and 30 RBIs, and her senior year saw her hit an eye-popping .530 with six home runs, three doubles, a triple and 22 RBIs.
But high school ball must have seemed easy for Leach after the competition she faced during the summer with the Firecrackers. Each summer, she traveled with the team to California to face some of the premier prep softball players in the country, helping her show off her skills to prospective college coaches and giving her a taste of what awaits her at the next level.
“Our Firecrackers coach (Fred Rollin) pushes us to keep going on and keep that level of intensity up, and that’s why we go to California a lot — to keep that intensity rolling through,” Leach said. “In high school, we don’t really get recruited, where during the summer, that’s when most of our (college) coaches see us.”
Leach plans to study nursing at Pima before ultimately transferring to a four-year school, where she hopes to continue her softball career as well. She will likely play either third base or catcher for the Aztecs after playing those two positions as a junior at Grantsville.