Softball for Kylee Fahy is home.
She quit her travel teams a few times in high school because of family issues, she said. She backed out of her commitment to be a scholarship softball player at Division I Loyola Marymount about a month before school started for the same reason.
But she always ends up back in the circle.
“I feel weird when I don't play softball,” she said. “... I always go back.”
Fahy leads the state of California in wins (11), innings pitched (85 1/3), strikeouts (93) and complete games (nine), following Thursday’s 2-1 win over Santa Barbara. She’s led BC to a 14-4 record to start the season and most recently collected eight strikeouts and only gave up three hits for her 11th win of the season in Thursday’s Western State Conference season opening win.
“Throwing her in the mix, it took our team to a whole new level,” first-year BC softball coach Casey Goodman said. “...She wants the load. She wants it all to fall on her shoulders and that’s something you don’t see in a lot of softball players.”
Fahy, a graduate of Liberty High School, has played softball since she was 3 years old. She tried basketball in sixth grade, but “me and running don't go in the same sentence so I stuck to softball,” she said.
She thought she had a knack for pitching while playing travel softball. One of the coaches, though, had favorites and wouldn’t play Fahy, she said, even though she thought she had proven herself to be better than the others. The next year, she switched teams and beat her old team from the circle in a head-to-head game. That confirmed to Fahy that she had talent.
She excelled in high school at Liberty and picked up a Division I scholarship offer, but that situation didn’t work out.
Goodman heard about Fahy and talked her into giving BC a shot about two or three weeks before the start of fall classes.
“I wasn’t ready to go (to LMU) and the coaching staff here is awesome,” Fahy said.
Fahy was nervous her first few starts and didn’t know exactly what to expect from college softball. But she got that out of the way with three complete games in the first four days of the season.
The biggest adjustment has been the quality of hitters she faces and that she can’t just pitch well by being accurate with her pitches like in high school.
“If I didn’t spin a ball, I’m gonna get hit off of,” Fahy said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
The transition has been mostly seamless, though. Goodman joked that it’d be easier to pick out Fahy’s worst game than best because there’s too many good games to pick from. Fahy is 11-2 in 14 appearances and has struck out at least 10 batters five times this season.
Fahy considers her best asset in the circle to be how she doesn’t show emotion so that even if she doesn’t feel like she’s playing well, her teammates don’t get down as well.
“She gets the job done,” BC pitcher McKenna Valencia said. “She’s gonna go at every batter with the same mindset of I’m gonna strike them out.”
Goodman expects Fahy’s usage to taper down as the season progresses. They’re working on adding a rise ball and changeup to Fahy’s arsenal to keep hitters off balance.
BC’s opponents are already having a tough enough time against the freshman pitcher relatively early in her first college season.
“She’s a warrior,” Goodman said. “She doesn’t let anything bother her. She lets softball be an outlet for her.”