By Brent Huelsmann
After four years as a member of the Nashville Hornettes softball team, Mackenzie McFeron will continue her softball career as a member of the University of Evansville Purple Aces. McFeron is a two sport athlete at NCHS. McFeron plays volleyball in addition to softball. McFeron also played basketball her freshmen and sophomore year.
McFeron, the Hornettes leadoff hitter last season, led the team in a plethora of offensive categories that included hits, singles, runs, average, and stolen bases. McFeron batted .591 last season, racked up 75 hits, and stole 62 base, over 50 more than the next closest player on the team.
McFeron said of her decision, “basically I just went on my visit there, and I just fell in love with the school right when I first got there. Coach took me on the tour, and right when I got to the softball field, I knew that that is where my home should be.”
McFeron went on to talk about the relief of signing. “I was so excited. It’s all that pressure of all of the summers playing, and then finally getting the relief of being committed. When I signed my national letter of intent that really took the weight off of my shoulders and I’m really excited for my future.”
The Purple Aces play in the Missouri Valley Conference which also features Southern Illinois Carbondale, Bradley, Drake, Illinois State, Indiana State, Loyola, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, and Valparsio.
As for adjustments at the next level, McFeron knows she is going to have to put in a lot of work. “Moving from high school to college, I am definitely going to have to step up my game to play with all of the collegiate level division one players, but I feel if I work my hardest, which I always give 100%, that I can do it.”
McFeron is one of eight seniors that will suit up for the Hornettes this season, something Coach Shaun Renth expects to be a strength. “It’s something that we haven’t had in the past couple of years, so that’s going to be huge for us. The last two years having just one senior, that’s tough for a team. From my playing days we had a lot when I was a senior playing baseball. Your team goes as your seniors go. They are going to lead way. They are going to show the other kids what they need to do.”
Renth went on to talk about how McFeron has improved over the past four years. “I didn’t get to see her a lot as a freshmen, but she’s just improved every year. Her batting average has gotten better every year, stolen bases has gone up every year. She’s just gotten better, just pushing herself every year to get better.”
McFeron a four year player for the Hornettes, praised the coaching staff she has had while at NCHS. “I’ve learned so much from them. I only had coach (Dempsey) Witte for one year, but that was a great year. He was one of the best coaches I’ve ever had and that really impacted my softball career to make me want to continue playing. Then Coach Renth came in and did the exact same thing with the program, we’ve been going good, and this year I think he’s really going to push us to do our best.”
As for her senior season, McFeron has high expectations. “I do have big expectations for our team, I feel like we can go very far and do great things, and I’m just going to try and do my part to get to that.”
McFeron stated her favorite memory while at NCHS, “Obviously winning State my freshmen year. Rounding the bases I can still picture slow motion going from third to home, and then not being able to breathe after collapsed on me after we won.”
McFeron plans to study Biology at the University of Evansville, but is not sure.