Softball Coaches

Leah Francis

Head Coach

Leah Francis

Coach Francis is entering her 11th year as Head Softball Coach at Bellevue College (formerly Bellevue Community College). During her first ten seasons as Head Coach, Leah led her team to ten straight NWAACC Championship Tournament appearances, including three straight 4th place finishes (from 2011- 2013, one of only two teams to earn a trophy at the Championships each of those three years), division titles in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2006 and 2005 (the first region title in school history) and a second place finish in 2014, 2010 and 2007. Each year at the helm, Coach Francis’s teams posted impressive records and over the ten years her teams are a combined 359-93 (a .794 winning percentage). During the 2014 season, Bellevue spent the entire year ranked in the poll. Coach Francis and the Bellevue staff won the 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008 and 2005 North Region Coach of the Year Honors as well as being voted the 2005 NWAACC NFCA Coaching Staff of the Year – an honor bestowed on the top coaching staffs in the nation.
During her first ten years Coach Francis has led a number of all-league players including having five first team and three second team selections in 2014, including the North Region Pitcher of the Year .

Leah also coached the only NWAACC All-Americans in Bellevue history; Autumn Isaacson in 2013, Isaacson and Haylee Baker in 2012, Tobey Varney, Kristen Allen and Rogin Hardy in 2011, Varney, winner in 2010, Erica Addison, Dawn Norcross and Korri Heidemann winners of the award in 2008 and Caitlin Storkson, who won the award in both 2006 and 2005. Coach Francis is geared up for her 10th season at Bellevue and looks forward to the challenges ahead.
Prior to coming to Bellevue, Coach Francis was the head coach at Sedro-Woolley High School where she guided her team to a 28-1-1 record including league and district championships and a 3rd place finish at the 3A State Championships. Four players from her roster that year went on to earn softball scholarships at Division 1 programs.

Prior to coaching at Sedro-Woolley, Coach Francis was the head softball coach for the Washington Sidewinders and the Washington Ladyhawks; two elite summer ball programs in the state. Coach Francis began her coaching career at Seattle University, where she was the assistant softball coach from 1999-2002 and coached a number of all-league players.

Coach Francis attended the University of Washington where she played on the softball team from 1995-1999 and was a member of the 1996 Pac-10 Championship team and the 1996 national runner-up team. Leah also competed in the College World Series in 1997 and 1998, where her team placed 3rd both years. As a senior, Leah was the captain of her team and as a sophomore, junior and senior, was on the Pac-10 All-Academic Team.

Coach Francis earned an undergraduate degree in Business and Accounting from the University of Washington and a masters degree in Physical Education/Athletic Administration from Seattle Pacific University. A Washington Native, Coach Francis attended North Mason High School in Belfair, Washington and was a 4-sport standout athlete in soccer, basketball, softball and track and a 2-time state champion in the javelin. In 2004, Coach Francis was inducted into the Kitsap County Sports Hall of Fame for her success in high school and college.

Along with her duties at Bellevue, Coach Francis also works as the Director of Finance and Operations for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, who oversee high school sports in the state. She has been with the WIAA for 13 years.

Danielle Orvella

Assistant Coach

Coach D returns to her alma matter to help coach the Bellevue squad. Danielle (“D”) brings a great deal of experience and energy with her and will help in all aspects of the game with her primary duties being the pitching coach. In addition, D oversees all the marketing, social media and promotional efforts for the team. A team leader as a player, D’s understanding of the BC softball program will provide a tremendous benefit in her transition onto the BC softball staff.

Prior to coming to BC as a coach, Danielle spent the last two years as a member of the Concordia University (Portland) softball team. Danielle, a softball scholarship award winner, helped guide Concordia to the national playoffs both of her years (2013 – 2014). In addition to be a standout player Danielle was also highly successful in the classroom, graduating with Cum Laude honors while receiving her bachelor degree in Business Administration and minoring in Marketing. Prior to Concordia Danielle was a member of the BC softball program in 2011 and 2012. As a player, Danielle earned all-league honors as both a freshman and sophomore and was named North Region Pitcher of the Year in 2012. As a pitcher Danielle was stellar going undefeated in the North Region play over her two years and helped guide the Bulldogs to North Region Titles and 4th place finishes at the NWAACC Championships. During Danielle’s stint as a Bulldog her teams were a combined 82-8 for a .911 winning percentage.

In addition to coaching at Bellevue, Danielle runs her own pitching business, Pitchin’ it with D which features camps, clinics and individual lessons. Danielle also is involved with a number of marketing internships as she works towards her career in marketing.

Coach D graduated from Kentridge High School in 2010 and played for the Washington Nighthawks travel team.

Sarah Hyatt

Assistant Coach

Sarah HyattAn eight year assistant softball coach at Bellevue College, Coach Hyatt came to Bellevue after playing for four years at the University of Washington. Sarah will assist in all other aspects of the game. During her first 6 seasons, Coach Hyatt helped guide Bellevue to first place North Region finishes in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009 and 2008. She also helped guide the program to NWAACC appearances during each of her first six years at Bellevue.

A graduate of the University of Washington Softball program (2003-2006), Sarah was the starting first baseman and one of the most prolific power hitters in school history. Coach Hyatt helped guide her team to Regional appearances all four years as well as Super Regional appearances in 2005 and 2006. Sarah participated in two Women’s College World Series in 2003 and 2004 in which the Huskies placed 5th and 7th in the nation respectively. Sarah finished her career ranked 4th all time on the UW career list in homeruns and 7th all time in RBI’s. Coach Hyatt received four All-Pac-10 awards and 2 All-Region awards during her career. While an athlete at UW, Coach Hyatt also participated as a camp counselor and clinician.

A tremendous player in both high school and summer ball, Sarah played for Eve Gaw and the Washington LadyHawks, one of the premier summer ball teams in the nation. At Sedro-Woolley High School, Sarah, helping guide her team to 4 straight league titles and a 3rd place finish at the state tournament her senior year; earning all-conference honors all four years and Skagit Valley Female Athlete of the Year honors her senior season.

Coach Hyatt received her Economics degree from the University of Washington and studied accounting at Central Washington University. Sarah is currently working in accounting for the Dana F. Besecker Company.