By Aricia Flores
Texas State softball season was cut short due to a worldwide pandemic but, within a few months, outfielder Hailey MacKay was able to build up her stats. McKay’s batting average sits at .288, with a total of 19 hits, eight RBI and started every game, with a team record of 19-5.
MacKay was first notifited that her senior year of softball was ending after practice by Coach Woodard herself. MacKay was surprised because Woodard provided the entire team some sort of reassurance.
“Friends that played at other universities found out through social media or a friend texting them.” MacKay said.
However, this was still bad news for the Bobcats. This season’s cancellation left MacKay wondering about the future and how COVID-19 impacts her collegiate career.
“[I] felt empty,” MacKay said. “I didn’t want to feel ripped away a second time if I got my hopes up.”
Thankfully for MacKay and many senior student-athletes around the country, the NCAA indeed granted another spring season, thus giving the veteran Bobcat a huge sigh of relief.
“[Playing next season] feels like the greatest opportunity in the world,” MacKay said. “There are things bigger than softball, while it was hard, we needed to do our part and keep everyone safe.”
Since Texas State has moved to online classes for the remainder of the semester, MacKay has spent her time in quarantine making her house the “cleanest and most organized it’s ever been.”
She continues to stay active and keep her body moving as a result of the many adjustments from the transition of working with her team to working on her own.
“Sports can be taken away from you in a day, so you need to play that way,” Mackay said. “I never would’ve thought in my lifetime that it would end because of something like this.”
Communication between the team has become virtual too. Sunday nights for the team consist of a Zoom call between the coaching staff and the managers asking for movie and television suggestions and sharing what they’ve been doing in quarantine. The team also stayed connected through social media where MacKay labeled her teammate Cat Crenek as “the Tik Tok Queen.”
“The urgency to live with a passion and do what you love and really just appreciate the people you are with, at the end of the day, that’s what I miss most already,” MacKay said. “Not being with my team everyday and my coaches is the hardest part.”
MacKay found ways to compete against herself by setting recrods to beat while reminding herself to have fun to stay active. The senior from Leander, Texas, continued to work hard in anticipation for the time to return to the field and become better than ever.
Featured image by Texas State Athletics