Leesburg, Va. – Loudoun County High School senior Kaly Garcia has made a commitment to continue her softball career at the University of Mary Washington starting in the 2018-2019 academic year.
“All of the pressure from being uncommitted and not knowing what my future holds is gone! I can finally relax and just play the sport I love without worrying where I will be at the next level,” Garcia said. “Mary Washington is so close to home, and the school has a beautiful atmosphere. Everyone on the campus is incredibly friendly, and I can’t wait to call UMW my home.”
The University of Mary Washington is a public university located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, housing around 5,000 students in its three colleges – arts and sciences, business and education.
The Division III Lady Eagles are led by head coach Dee Conway – who has coached the softball team for 30 seasons– and are assisted by Keith Tasaka and Sadie Stuart. In 2017, Conway led Mary Washington to a 25-20 record.
While Conway and company will help motivate Garcia at the collegiate level, it was her parents that have pushed her to this point.
“My dad often tells me to not give up when the game gets tough. My mom motivates me to do better, to always work harder and pushes me to be better at what I do,” Garcia said. “My mom got me into the sport when I was in second grade and I fell in love instantly. She played softball at Loudoun County when she was younger, so to follow in her footsteps is a proud feeling for me. I’m incredibly thankful for her.”
The 5-foot-10 first baseman – who has been playing softball since she was eleven – now plays travel softball for the Ashburn Shooting Stars 18U Gold. The Stars assistant coach is Dave Carver, who is also her assistant coach at Loudoun County.
“Kaly is a tremendous player who will have an immediate impact at Mary Washington,” Carver said. “She is a game changer every time she steps into the batter’s box.”
As a sophomore in 2016, Garcia hit five home runs, earning herself first team All-Conference 21B accolades. This past 2017 season, Garcia hit ten home runs, receiving first team All-Conference 21B, All-VHSL 4A West region and All-LoCo honors as a first baseman. Garcia was also named second team All-VHSL 4A state.
“My favorite part about softball is the emotional aspect,” Garcia said. “Every time I hit a ball my eyes light up and I crack this cheesy smile because the feeling of helping your team to a win is amazing. I love becoming a better player and I love the moments I share with my teammates. That’s what it’s all about. “
Garcia hopes to continue her home run tear very soon as she prepares to begin her last season playing for Loudoun County. In 2017, the Lady Raiders ended their season at 17-3, winning the Conference 21B title and advancing to the VHSL 4A West region tournament.
“I am incredibly proud of my high school team,” Garcia said. “We haven’t been conference champs since ’99 and to overcome all of the obstacles and make a comeback was the most heartwarming feeling I’ve ever experienced. I love those girls and the coaching staff with everything I have. They’re my second family and I am so proud. This past season we made it to the region tournament and I want us to get there again. I want us to claim that conference champion title and regular season champion title again. I know we’re capable of doing so. Loudoun County softball has so much talent and with hard work we can reach even farther incredible heights.”