Lady Dog Baylor Bound: RyLee Crandall
Few folks know exactly what their plans are for the weekend, let alone what their plans are for the following year.
Artesia High School junior, RyLee Crandall, knows exactly what she is doing this weekend and what she is going to do in the fall of 2022; the Lady Dog softball player will pitch and hit for the legendary Baylor Bears of Waco, Texas.
RyLee attracted the attention of the prestigious school after a phenomenal year on the diamond. RyLee was named Gatorade Player of the Year, USA Today New Mexico Player of the Year, Max Preps Player of the Year, and made the All-State team. RyLee earned these accolades during her junior year of high school. She has another year to fill with accomplishments on the softball field for the Lady Dogs. Here’s looking forward to another exciting season for Artesia!
RyLee began playing softball at the age of five. She has loved being a part of a team since those early days. Her fondest memories on the field include being a part of not just one state championship team but two! The first state championship game she completed in as an 8th grader alongside her big sister who was, then, a senior. She would like to give a shout out and thanks to, “God, my mom and dad, my sister, Maw and Pops, Grandmother and Papa, all my coaches from when I was little, my teammates, and the Artesia community.”
RyLee loves the feel of arriving at the fields with her teammates and the process of unpacking and hanging out together which transitions into warming up for a game. “I love being part of a team,” she says. “I couldn’t do what I do without them.” She has spent a lot of her time playing on different teams. RyLee played for New Mexico Express, Texas Glory, and Oklahoma Game Time. With team playing comes a significant time commitment, but as RyLee says: it’s so worth it. The time pays off in the end with great memories and many learning moments.
So why does RyLee play softball? “I play because God gave me talent,” she says, “and this is how I spread His glory and share His work. And it’s fun!” She balances the serious aspects of the game and competition with enthusiasm. At her next chapter enrolled in Baylor University, that balance will see her well both in her studies and on the field. Her favorite pearl of wisdom, leave it better than the way you found it, will also help her find balance as a collegiate level athlete. When asked what that pearl means to her, RyLee replied, it means going the extra mile to improve whichever softball organization she is a part of by doing her best and giving it her all.