Roland has got the game in her genes

Roland has got the game in her genes


Roland has got the game in her genes


Kyleigh Roland batted .650 for the Reynolds Middle softball team this past season.

Kyleigh Roland batted .650 for the Reynolds Middle softball team this past season.

REYNOLDS – Kyleigh Roland was born with a bat in her hands.

Roland’s mom, Nikki, patrolled the outfield for Owen’s last state-championship softball team (2000).

Her grandfather, J.D. Hinson, coached the Warhorses baseball team to three NCHSAA finals and won a state title as a player at Enka (1970). His wife, Debbie, was an All-American basketball player at Warren Wilson. And their son, John, starred at Reynolds before going on to play baseball at Clemson and with the Houston Astros organization.

Roland has got it in her genes to be one of Western North Carolina softball’s most promising freshmen in 2017. She’ll be suiting up for Reynolds after leading the Reynolds Middle softball team with a .650 batting average this past season.

“I’m a huge softball fan. It’s a big part of my life and I try to stay involved in it as much as I can,” said Roland, who plays middle infield positions and catcher.

“I’m really looking forward (to high school softball). Hopefully I’ll continue to get better. All you can hope for is to get better.”

Roland has been to the Women’s College World Series and camped at the University of North Carolina. Not much overwhelms her.

Roland was named Reynolds Middle’s team MVP as a seventh and eighth grader. In addition to her batting average, she stole 19 bases, scored 14 runs and had 12 RBIs. Her ultimate goal for the next four years is to add to her family’s rich history in Western North Carolina athletics with a state championship of her own.

The Rockets announced earlier this week that 2010 Roberson graduate Ashley Green is their new coach.

As her ability evolves, Roland draws inspiration from her mother, who graduated from Owen in 2003.

“My mom has always encouraged me to be the best player I can be,” Roland said.

“And as long as I try my best, she’s always been there for me. She’s been a big influence and a big motivator.”

Roland first took up the game at age 6 and has been playing travel ball since she was 8. Currently, she is a member of the the WNC Rip City organization. Though 26 games this summer, Roland is hitting .546 with 12 RBIs, five triples and 10 stolen bases. Her fielding percentage is 94.9.

The only other sport Roland plays is basketball, but she said softball is her favorite.

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