War Hawk Softball ready to make history
ABILENE, Texas —
There’s nothing quite like the start of a new season, let alone the first season ever for your school. Friday, that moment will be shared by the McMurry War Hawk community as its softball program kicks off its inaugural season against Trinity at Red Bud park.
It’s been a long time coming, with the announcement of the addition of softball coming back in the fall of 2016. Now, the team is less than 24 hours away from becoming the first to hit the field wearing the War Hawk colors.
Juniors Rachel Ripley and Adrienne Nairnm plus freshman Avery McDaniel were named to the American Southwest Conference preseason atch list, and headline a mixed group of transfer experience and freshman talent – with 12 first-years in total.
Among those, Kayla Otis – who was at Abilene High when current McMurry coach David McNally was at the helm of the Lady Eagle program. Now, the two get to make history together.
“My freshman year of high school, I tried out for catcher and he told me I sucked,” Otis said about McNally. “That was it. Now, four years later, I’m here playing for him at a college and so it’s one of those things you look back on and think, wow – I never thought I would end up here, but at the same time I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
The war hawks were picked 7th in the preseason conference poll, and now on the eve of the program's first game, the feeling is almost surreal.
“Once this week hit, I was just sitting there like -- we're literally doing this and like this is the first time anyone's done this here at this school, and nobody is ever going to do this again,” Otis said. “And that's a really special feeling to know that I'm going to be a part of that core group for forever.”
First pitch of Friday’s double header is at 3 p.m. with game two at approximately 5 p.m.