As a key contributor in a historic 2022 season for Daviess County, junior Raylee Roby posted a 10.5 K/7 rate and a sub 2.00 ERA—which has helped her earn the 2022 Owensboro Times Softball Player of the Year.
“I would like to thank Owensboro Times for this recognition,” Roby said. “It means a great deal to me and makes me feel that my hard work is paying off. I would also like to thank our community and fans for all they do for not just me and my team but for all the sports programs and schools. I would also like to thank everyone who has helped me get where I am today. My family, coaches, teammates, and friends. I am truly blessed to have them all.”
The righty earned a 21-5 record across 163.2 innings in 26 games in the circle, while posting a 1.58 ERA and a whopping 245 strikeouts. Her efforts helped Daviess County make another trip to state, as the Lady Panthers finished with a 31-6 record.
“It is such an honor to receive this recognition,” Roby said. “I know that we have amazing talent in our county and so many other athletes that are so deserving of this honor as well. Being selected for player of the year is something that I will always remember and cherish.”
Head Coach John Biggs called Roby a warrior on numerous occasions this season, saying that no moment is too big for her. The description matches her mindset in the circle, believing in herself no matter the circumstances to help herself and the team succeed..
“I always try to approach a game with confidence,” Roby said. “I know that all the work I have put in has prepared me for that moment. I also try to remain calm in stressful situations and even though I may be nervous, I always try to stay cool under the pressure.”
Being able to have such a demeanor and controlling games from the circle has taken a lot of work to become a possibility for Roby, dating back to when started taking lessons at the age of nine with her first pitching coach Elizabeth Church.
Roby and her dad made countless trips to Whitesville, Kentucky, to train with her, while also practicing plenty with her dad as well. It’s that hard work at camps and on travel teams—as well as the coaches and players she has been surrounded by—that Roby credits her success to.
“I have been fortunate to have great coaches throughout my softball career who have taught me so much not just about softball, but about life as well,” Roby said. “I have had great teammates who are also great friends. Finally, I have had great catchers. Pitchers are nothing without their catchers and I have been fortunate to play with the best.”
And while the Lady Panthers aren’t far removed from their final loss of the 2022 campaign, Roby is gearing up for a busy summer. Specifically, one that she hopes will help elevate her game for her senior year.
“My summer season is about to begin and I hope me and my team have a strong showing this summer,” Roby said. “I know that next year our district will be very strong and I plan to work hard this off season to be prepared. I also want to have a strong showing next season, since it will be my senior and last year playing for Daviess County softball.”
In order to stay strong and continue to improve, Roby wants to make sure to focus on getting stronger physically while working on developing her pitches and mechanics to become a better and more efficient pitcher in her senior season.
“My goals this summer season and during this year’s offseason is to try to increase my velocity, location, and movement on my pitches,” Roby said. “I also would like to work on developing other pitches that I do not regularly throw. A lot of teams have seen me pitch over the last couple of years and to be able to show them something a little different will greatly assist me in being successful next year.”