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Haynes’ To Play Softball Next Spring at Providence College BHS Senior Led TVL in HRs as a Freshman

Ryanne Haynes will continue her softball career at Providence College next spring.

Staff Sports Writer
Ryanne Haynes is 18 years old, and she says she’s lived and breathed softball for the last 12 years. Because of that commitment, the Bellingham High senior will be playing softball for Division 1 Providence College in the Big East Conference next year.
The 5-foot-3 Haynes, who started playing softball in the youth league at the age of five, has competed at the club level for the last seven years. That experience obviously played a key role in her landing a scholarship as a junior to play for the Friars. And, it also sheds light on the amazing statistics she compiled as a freshman catcher for the Blackhawks.
Haynes hit six home runs, knocked in 34 runs and batted .458. She not only led the Tri Valley League in home runs but was selected as a TVL all-star. Not bad for a freshman.
“Ryanne started out as a catcher, then we moved her to shortstop as a junior and to centerfield this season,’’ said Bellingham coach Dennis Baker. “She adjusted quickly to all the positions. She’s versatile, athletic and has great passion for softball. She accepted every change and also accepted the challenges. Ryanne is coachable, has a positive attitude, and her confidence and athleticism should lead to success at the college level.
Nine other schools besides Providence showed interest in recruiting her and three of them — Villanova, Holy Cross and the University of Pennsylvania — offered scholarships or financial aid.
“Jill Karwosski is the coach at PC,’’ Haynes said, “and she saw me play as a freshman, mostly at the club level. “She liked the improvement I made and advised me to keep striving to elevate my work ethic.’’
Haynes, a two-time captain at Bellingham, has a high softball IQ, good arm strength, power at the plate and mental toughness. She likely will excel at Providence academically and on the field. At BHS, she’s been a two-time National Honor Society student and her GPA is 3.90.
“I’m going to miss playing at Bellingham,’’ Haynes offered. “I’ve enjoyed being with great teammates early in my career and with wonderful teammates this season. I’ve also liked playing for coach Baker. At BHS I gained confidence in softball and academics and now, I’m very excited about the future. I hope to have four great years at Providence.’’
Although Haynes has been on two Bellingham teams that competed in the playoffs, her senior year has been more about mentoring the Blackhawks’ younger players. The current squad, which has three 8th graders in the starting lineup, has struggled. Their record at the Bulletin’s deadline was 5-11 overall and 5-8 in the TVL.
“My goals at the start of the season were for the team to improve day by day, to see our younger players gain confidence and to win as many games as possible,’’ Haynes said. “We’re a young team, we don’t have a lot of experience and our depth is thin. But, it’s been fun to compete and help the players grow.’’
Haynes is a caring teammate, and she displayed her charitable nature when she was chosen for a home-run derby as a sophomore and junior to raise money for cancer research.
“A non-profit company called “A Shot For Life’’ selected 16 girls in the state for a home-run derby at Austin Prep in Reading,’’ Haynes said. “I finished second last year and was able to raise a total of $2,000.’’
Haynes, who hit 3 homers, batted .419 and had 20 RBIs as a junior, has handled the chores in centerfield admirably. “Coach Baker moved me to the outfield, probably because he’s trying to groom a catcher for the future.,’’ Haynes noted. 
Haynes displayed superb defensive ability against Millis this season. Her catch in the sixth inning preserved Bellingham’s 8-5 triumph. “With the bases loaded, a Millis player hit the ball 200-plus feet,’’ Baker recalled. “Ryanne turned her back, ran it down and caught the ball. That could have been a grand slam. She saved the day on that play.’’
Haynes, who’s hitting .356 and has 4 homers and 17 RBIs at the Bulletin deadline, didn’t compete as a sophomore because spring sports were canceled due to the pandemic.
“Catching, shortstop and centerfield are fun because you deal with a variety of situations,’’ she emphasized. “They’re leadership positions that require lots of decision-making. As a captain, I’ve tried to lead by example and by being vocal and supportive.’’
As her final season at BHS approaches the finish line, Haynes can reflect and think about some highlights. 
“I was glad to be on two teams that played in the tourney,’’ she said. “We got to the third round last year, and it was good to gain that experience. My top thrill probably was selection to the TVL all-star team as a freshman. That was my goal and to achieve it was satisfying. It certainly was an honor and the six home runs I hit no doubt helped.’’
Haynes plans to major in computer science at PC and she’s leaning towards a career in cyber security.
Always intent on securing Bellingham’s fortunes on the field, Haynes is acutely aware that if she’s to continue on a successful path in college, she’ll need to focus on what’s needed for a smooth transition. She likely will play centerfield for PC.
“I’ll have to improve my speed and my hitting,’’ she said. “My work ethic must remain sharp and maintaining confidence is important, too. My technique can also be better.’’
Haynes expresses kudos for Baker and co-captain Charlotte MacGregor. “Charlotte does a good job at shortstop and pitching,’’ Haynes said. “She can hit and field, and she’s a positive leader. Coach Baker has been great to play for. He’s a motivator who can be tough when needed. He knows the game, and he’s super nice.’’
Having traveled a lot while playing AAU ball, Haynes likely will adjust quickly to Providence’s travel schedule in the Big East, which will include stops in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. 
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