CAA is excited to announce this month’s student-athlete spotlight. We are pleased to feature this dynamic duo, Kalista Axtell and Destanee C. Nez. These athletes play for Legacy Traditional School NW Tucson and are the great pitcher and catcher tandem! These two all-stars finished runner up at the state championships, only losing to Number 1 Legacy Surprise in the championship game!
Get to Know Kalista
Kalista is 14 years old and is the catcher of her softball team.
She will be graduating from 8th grade this year and will be continuing her studies next year at Ironwood Ridge High School where she plans to take as many AP and pre-AP classes as possible, while playing club softball. She also hopes to make the varsity softball team in the spring.
Recently, Kalsita also tried out for the Legacy baseball team and made the cut. She had to make a few adjustments coming from softball, but she was soon up to the task and enjoying the great talent and chemistry this new team had. They were off to a great start when, unfortunately, the season was canceled. Kalista however genuinely enjoyed those few games they got to play.
Kalista loves to be outdoors and to play a variety of sports including softball, baseball, and basketball. Some of her favorite pastimes include working out, enjoying a good book and drag racing.
Get to Know Destanee
Destanee is 13 and plays pitcher and shortstop for her team.
She too will be continuing on to high school next year. She will be attending Canyon Del Oro High School and looks forward to continuing to play softball and volleyball.
Destanee enjoys keeping active by going to the neighborhood park and practicing softball with her grandpa.
During her spare time, she also enjoys painting and drawing for herself and her friends.
When asked about how this great partnership works, Kalista said: “I love the inseparable bond Destanee and I have. We have played together for years, on several teams, and we just click on and off the field.”
Destanee, on the other hand, loves that Kalista knows what she likes as a pitcher and what she does not. “Kali knows when I’m having a hard time with an umpire and can calm me down to help me focus on pitching,” adds Destanee.
These girls and their team had an amazing season this year. Most of the team had been together since 5th grade and this year they really came together and excelled. Kalista recalls the highlight of the season for her was, “when Destanee hit an out-of-the-park home run in the final game. We had been falling behind all game, so her home run boosted morale and gave the team hope.”
Destanee also recollects that home run in the championship game as the highlight of the season. At one point during the season, she even had a concussion, but this did not stop her from supporting her team.
In the past four years, the Legacy softball team has had two great coaches Mrs. Bores (2016-2018) and Mrs. Taylen (2018-2020). In addition to their coaches, they also had many talented parent volunteers; “each of which contributed their time and skills to make our team what it is. I learned there is so much to gain from others’ experiences. It reinforces the importance of community,” shared Kalista.
Destinee is very thankful to her coach for always being supportive. “Mrs. Taylen also did not yell at me when I hit her with a softball while hitting in the Championship game,” she added.
Staying at home
During this time in which we are all encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, Kalista tries to keep busy and enjoys shooting hoops with her brother, reading, batting off a tee and keeping up with her schoolwork.
Destanee has also been dedicating her time to getting her online schoolwork done. She also enjoys playing games with her family, watching movies and doing personal workouts at home.
Although this great pair will be going on to different high schools, we know we can expect great things from these two starring student-athletes. CAA wishes you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!