Perfect pitch: Moffat County’s Mackenzie Marshall signs for CNCC softball
Moffat County High School’s Mackenzie Marshall has grown used to traveling to Rio Blanco County on a regular basis, so it only made sense that would be where she takes her next big step.
Marshall signed her letter of intent Tuesday to compete next fall for the women’s softball program at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Rangely campus. She will serve as a relief pitcher and utility infielder for the Spartans in the 2019 season.
“It’s going to be really competitive. I’ve already practiced with their team, and they have such amazing girls,” she said.
Marshall said she will enroll in CNCC’s dental hygiene program in addition to her time with the team.
“Living on my own, it’s going to be pretty cool,” she said.
Spending time in Rangely, about an hour-and-a-half from Craig, will hardly be an adjustment after competing for the Meeker varsity softball team, which required constant travel south of Craig.
Since MCHS does not field a team in the sport, Marshall has been part of the Lady Cowboys’ roster all four years of high school, and she has been instrumental in the team’s success, said coach Briana Williams.
“She has shown an amazing ability to persevere and work through the ups and downs. The things she has sacrificed to play softball in high school are things other kids can’t wrap their heads around, what it takes to travel every single day, what that takes out of you and to still show up and be a positive influence every day,” Williams said. “I think she’ll adapt really well to the next level. She should be proud.”
Marshall achieved All-Conference and All-State distinctions from Colorado High School Activities Association — as well as All-State through Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports — this fall as one of the group’s pitchers. With a 15-11 overall record, Meeker finished the regular season as the 3A District 5 runners-up with a 9-3 tally and made it as far as the 3A state semifinals.
The Cowboys were felled 10-9 at that point by familiar foes Delta in their third consecutive year at state. Even so, Marshall challenged the experience.
“It was just a fun, good last memory,” Marshall said of the final game.
Marshall was ranked second in the conference’s strikeout totals at 72. In addition to throwing one no-hitter, her ERA was 7.72 for the season, sharing the mound with Meeker’s Tori Lasker and Hailey Knowles.
At the plate, her .526 batting average was behind only Lasker’s and Cowboy slugger Megan Shelton, complete with eight doubles, one triple and a home run this season.
CNCC head coach Kenneth DeCook said he had seen Marshall in action multiple times and was especially intrigued by her all-around capabilities.
“Mack has tremendous ability not only pitching but as an infielder and in her hitting,” he said. “She brings a complete package to us. She’s got the character that we look for and an absolutely magnificent attitude.”
He noted that her being a local of the region was also a plus, and he hopes to bring in more athletes from Moffat and Rio Blanco counties or surrounding areas.
“We certainly look for that connection, and Mack is certainly going to help us get going in that direction,” he said.
Friday marked one year since the Silver Creek Fire sparked northwest of Kremmling in Routt National Forest and burned more than 20,120 acres, according to data from the Rocky Mountain Incident Coordination Center.