Kelley Lynch: War Eagle
By: Roy Neill
In her Freshman year at East Coweta High School, Kelly Lynch committed to Auburn University to play collegiate softball. After graduation in 2019, she will join the Tigers Softball team as a pitcher. Now in her Sophomore year, Kelley is a renown strikeout pitcher, and the Rise Ball is her “money pitch.
She’s been playing since the age of 4, beginning in Newnan with the Sharpsburg Recreation League. Her Mom, Jan, described Kelley, “She’s an extremely smart, talented young lady with a fun personality; but she is all business on the mound.”
She is ranked the #1 pitcher for 2019 in the nation by FloSoftball.com. She began playing competitive travel ball with her team at the age of 7. For the last 3 years, she has played for East Cobb Bullets Biele 16U Gold, ranked #3 in the nation for the upcoming season. Last year, Kelley traveled coast to coast with the Bullets, including tournaments in Myrtle Beach, NYC, Colorado, Huntington Beach, CA, and Naples, FL. She has been recruited by collegiate teams since the 8th grade, when she began playing showcase tournaments.
In the fall of 2015, Kelley visited Kennesaw State, Georgia State, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Alabama, the University of Florida, FSU, and Auburn. Her Mom, Jan said, “Kelley began talking to college coaches on the phone when she was in the 8th grade. She is very outgoing and quite mature for her age; so she would stay on the phone with some of the coaches for a half-hour to an hour at the time.”
At the end of 2016, ECHS placed 4th in the state’s newest and most powerful region – 7A. Kelley made 1st Team All State. She was awarded Region 2-7A Player of the Year and 1st Team All Region, Coweta All County 1st Team and Player of the Year (Newnan Times-Herald and Coweta Score) and East Coweta Lady Indians co-MVP. Kelley is the 2016 Coweta County Indians’ MVP Player of the Year. 1st Team, All Region Team. As a pitcher she averaged 2 strikeouts per inning pitched, with a total of 204 strikeouts and .717 ERA. As a shortstop, she averaged 92.2% fielding. She had five home runs, and a .482 batting average.
Outside of softball, Kelley is very strong in her faith and active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at ECHS and her youth group at church. She has been Class President of her Sophomore and Freshman classes, and a member of the Homecoming Court as well.
So what drives Kelley Lynch? In 2012, the Lynch Family lost their father, Steve, to cancer.Janet remembered, “He was her Dad and her Coach. He spent hours teaching her how to pitch. She and her older sister, Katey (who plays for Kennesaw State), were always at the ballfield.”
Janet continued, “These two strong young women were blessed to have a great support network after his passing.” Kelley added, “He always wanted both of us girls to succeed first in school, then on the field. It was my way to honor him. I never thought I could attend an SEC school; but I just kept working at it. I love the Auburn campus and the Coaches were very helpful, it was the college that stood out among all the rest.”
Kelley’s plans are focused. “I am a 4.0 student, Math and Science classes are my favorites. I have always been interested in Medicine, and I hope that once I get to Auburn I will be able to pursue a career in the medical field.”
Fans can follow Kelley once she joins the Tigers’ Softball Team. Most of the games will be televised, and Kelley is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.