Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Prep softball: Taylorsville pitcher Jaycie LeBaron diamond in the rough
Prep softball » Freshman proves quick learner on way to eight wins.
First Published Apr 09 2012 06:59 pm • Last Updated Aug 05 2012 11:32 pm

From the looks of it, you wouldn’t know this season marks Taylorsville’s Jaycie LeBaron first bout as a starting pitcher. Coming into the week, she had eight wins and an average allowance of just seven hits against in-state competition.

Her résumé reads more like a seasoned veteran than a freshman unfamiliar with the spotlight.

At a glance

Warriors found their girl

Taylorsville freshman Jaycie LeBaron found her spot on the mound as a self-taught pitcher.

Assistant coach Erin James has helped LeBaron turn a swaying stance, which resulted in a nasty bruise on her right hip, into a deadly fastball and change-up.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The squash-sized black-and-blue bruise on her right hip, though, tells the rest of the story.

"I basically taught myself how to pitch," LeBaron said. "And I was doing it all wrong."

On every pitch, her hips would swing to meet her speeding elbow — a subtle collision that, over time, resulted in a nasty bruise and plenty of pain.

The pain was subtle at first, but grew with the size of the bruise.

"During those early games, she was just playing through it," assistant coach Erin James said. "We worked really hard with her to make her own adjustments. She still struggles a bit with walks, but it’s coming together."

It more than beats the alternative.

During the preseason, James and coach Rich Kaelin looked at the roster and saw a solid defense, deep hitting squad and a team stacked with young talent.

What they didn’t see was a pitcher.


story continues below
story continues below

"We really didn’t have a pitcher who claimed to be one," James said. "We thought, ‘Wow, it’s a good thing we can hit.’"

LeBaron, who was previously sidelined with a broken foot, didn’t come on the scene until the last day of open gym. It was there that LeBaron, a fourth- and fifth-string pitcher on her summer league team, spent a bit of time pitching to team captain and first baseman Cami Mathews.

Mathews liked what she saw and, recognizing there was a huge vacancy left to fill, she ran to tell her coaches about the potential fit.

"Coach [Rich] Kaelin and I met with her and talked over a few things," James said. "And that is how we got our pitcher."

Though untested, her potential was immediately apparent.

As she steadied her follow-through, the strength of her inside fastball emerged.

"I can also do some change-ups that are pretty sweet," LeBaron said. "When I’m on an ‘on’ day, it’s pretty wild."

Just ask Copper Hills. With something to prove against many of her former summer league teammates, LeBaron let loose, allowing only four hits en route to a 12-2 victory over the Grizzlies on March 29.

"I was never really given the chance to show what I could do before," LeBaron said. "I wanted to show them that I was a starter now."

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.