Kiley Hubby set the Lake Stevens High School softball record for home runs in a season last year when she slugged 13 as a junior. She helped the Vikings make it all the way to the Class 4A state championship game, and she was a first-team All-Area selection at catcher. This season she was determined to break the home-run record again, perhaps reaching the lofty total of 20. That opportunity was lost when the spring sports seasons were canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
But Hubby’s softball career isn’t over. Hubby made her mark more as a two-time state-champion wrestler. But in early May she announced she will play softball in college instead of wrestling, signing with NCAA Division II North Georgia.
We spoke to Hubby about her time with Lake Stevens softball and her decision to play softball in college as part of our series spotlighting spring sports senior athletes:
You didn’t play softball when you were a sophomore at Glacier Peak, choosing to focus on wrestling. What made you decide to return to softball?
When I switched schools I actually wasn’t even going to try out for high school softball. But the wrestling coach (Brent Barnes) talked to a few players and the coach (Sarah Hirsch) and told them how I used to play softball, and I ended up coming to the second day of tryouts junior year, just to have fun with it and get my mind off wrestling. I started playing again and realized how much I missed it.
What will you miss most about being a part of Lake Stevens softball?
Last year I would always be the designated person to braid hair on the bus. I would do eight to 10 girls’ hair on the way to games. It was stressful, but fun. We’d play music on the bus and I really enjoyed that. I liked the team bonding and hanging out at each other’s houses. I also enjoyed last year at state, being with my teammates and getting to know them all. I’m really going to miss the relationships that were built — and would have been built this season.
Why did you decide to play softball in college rather than wrestle?
It was a tough decision. Up until I made the decision I was debating on going to college for wrestling, I still had offers from wrestling schools. The main thing that turned my head is that I’m doing the ROTC route, and there’s the opportunity for getting that at North Georgia. It’s something different. I didn’t think it would be an option until the last few months. It was just realizing that I get to play softball and continue with that, especially since I missed my last season in high school. I would have regretted not playing another season of softball.
Not a lot of athletes from the Pacific Northwest end up at D-II colleges in the southeast. How did you end up with North Georgia?
“My coach with Absolute Blast (Steve Dailey, the coach of Hubby’s club team) put me in contact with the North Georgia coach. I talked for a little bit with him last year, then kind of took a break. Then he reached out again and got in contact. And Danielle Lawrie, who played for the (University of Washington), was really close with him, and I used to train with her and we used to be neighbors. She put in a good word on how she liked my work ethic.”
You mentioned being a part of ROTC at North Georgia. Why is that important to you?
I talked to my cousin, who was in the Core of Cadets at Virginia Tech, and my whole family is a military family. I really wanted to start adulthood right by getting into something that would help push me forward in life. Having a job in the military is something I think would be really good for me. I can get a lot of life experiences, and I can learn a lot of skills and discipline and other things I haven’t really experienced. I’ve done sports my whole life, so this is something different, and I’m excited for it and ready for the challenge.