In many ways you could say Ashlyn Roach was born to be a “bomber.”

From her long drives out of the park to her summer circuit with her long-time travel team, “The Bombers,” Roach developed quite a reputation as a power hitter. It’s that very same reputation that earned her playing time as a West Ouachita freshman, and it’s that big bat prowess that’s led to her signing with LSU Eunice at West Ouachita High School Thursday morning.

“It all started with the Bombers,” Roach said. “I got exposure with them since I was 12 years old. I actually got to play at LSU Eunice over the years. I got to form a relationship with the coaches, and it just kind of went from there.”

Roach has signed to play with LSUE, but as for what position she’ll play in college, well, that remains a question mark. Roach said she’s talked about playing first base as well as the outfield with her future coaches.

“Really, we’ve talked a lot about my bat,” Roach said.

Roach is coming off of a junior season that saw her hit .375 and 13 home runs for the Lady Chiefs. Roach was one of many key contributors in West Ouachita’s Class 4A State Championship team. And with key seniors moving on from last year’s club, Roach will be tasked to take on a bigger leadership role this season.

“She’ll be one of four seniors this year, so it’ll be exciting to see her step into more of a leadership role,” West Ouachita head coach Ashley Burkett-Hoyle said.

As for her future college destination, Burkett-Hoyle said the familiarity of LSUE makes it a near perfect fit for Roach.

“It’s a quality program that goes along with our program,” Burkett-Hoyle said. “It seems to match the way we do things, so I always think that’s a good fit.”

The Lady Chiefs won’t get to defend their 4A crown, as West Ouachita made the jump to Class 5A. But if the Chiefs are going to make an immediate splash this season, West Ouachita is going to need big production from the likes of Roach and her fellow seniors.

“We’re looking forward to it because we play against a lot of 5A competition to begin with,” Roach said. “That’s what helped us get to the top last year.”  

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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