CENTERVILLE — Centerville’s Rylie Candella has almost flown under the radar during her time with the Centerville High School softball team.

The CHS senior batted just a shade under .650 last season with 59 hits, 43 RBIs and 39 runs scored for the Lady Bulldogs, but somehow didn’t get much in the way of recognition when it came to All-State selection. 

Those numbers were good enough to attract the attention of more than a few college softball coaches wanting her to continue her career with their teams after playing her final high school season this spring.

Candella decided to take advantage of the early signing period Friday and inked with head coach Andy Lee and the LSU-Eunice softball program.

“LSU-E is a great campus,” Candella said. “I really wanted to continue my student-athlete career there and I felt like that was the best place to go.

“Coach Lee left a great impression on me and he was one of the main reasons I wanted to go there.”

Candella said she was familiar with the program and the fact that it’s won five junior college national championships.

“That’s something that I really want to do,” said Candella, referring to winning a national championship while in Eunice.

When she joins the team for the 2018 season, she’ll join former Loreauville standout Kelci Bodin, who is in her freshman year for the Lady Bengals.

Candella said she’ll study speech pathology while in college and is expected to play the middle infield for the Lady Bengals.

First-year Centerville softball coach Nick Trosclair is happy for his senior leader.

“I got to spend a little time last year with Rylie and the softball team and saw her play,” Trosclair said. “It doesn’t take long to see that she’s a special ballplayer.

“She has all the tools to make it at the next level. She’s a team leader and I’m excited to have her this year and work with her a little bit this year.”

Trosclair said that not only is Candella going to be the team leader but she’s also going to be able to help the younger players get better.

“I just expect her usual ‘go at em’ attitude out there,” the CHS coach said. “She’ll give 110 percent and she’ll perform. That’s what we need her to do.”

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