Q&A — Moffat County’s Mackenzie Marshall power pitcher for Meeker softball team
Mackenzie Marshall has put in a lot of miles behind the wheel this fall, and with any luck, she’ll be bound for an even bigger road trip than the one she takes daily.
The Meeker varsity softball team hosts the 3A Region 8 tournament Saturday as the Lady Cowboys vie for a spot in the state finals.
Though tied three ways with Brush and Eaton for the best record in the division at 3A 16-3, Meeker’s RPI standings put the team at ninth in brackets, though the team earned hosting duties thanks to its District 5 championship, 11-1 in its best season yet.
Coming to Northwest Colorado will be No. 8 University and No. 24 Sheridan, with a double-elimination format deciding who moves on to state.
A statistically sizzling season saw players ranked first in the district in nearly all rankings, according to MaxPreps.
High-achieving athletes included Sierra Williams, who leads Colorado’s 3A division and ranks fifth among all classes in stolen bases with 36. Likewise, Megan Shelton leads 3A and is tied for first among all divisions for most home runs with 12, also tied for first in runs batted in at 52.
Marshall, a Moffat County High School junior, has been no slouch either as the team’s lead pitcher, traveling regularly to practice with them. Statewide, her 93 strikeouts have her ranked fourth in Colorado 3A, and she’s third in Colorado 3A in terms of earned run average at 1.91.
Also one of only four 3A pitchers to claim a no-hitter this season, she will be on the mound for the Lady Cowboys this weekend.
How long have you played for Meeker?
For the high school team I’ve played all three years of high school, but I’ve also played with them since I was in sixth-grade.
Previously, you were a utility player, so what made you more serious about pitching?
Over the summer I did travel league softball for Fruita. They used me as pitcher a lot, then I got this pitching coach from Fruita, and he made me really good. I was filling in for Meeker at a tournament, they had me pitch and realized how good I was, so they had me as their starting varsity pitcher.
What’s the toughest part of playing that position?
Dealing with the pressure. The only game we lost (against a district team) was Cedaredge, but then we came back and beat them 10-0 the next time, so it canceled out, which was pretty cool.
Other Craig athletes have been on the roster in the past, but you’re the only one this year. Any other girls from surrounding towns in the lineup?
No. The Rangely girls graduated, and the Steamboat girl didn’t want to do it this year.
Do you feel like you’ve bonded well with Meeker players?
Oh, yeah. I love Megan Shelton and Kenzie Turner and Tori Lasker and Gracie Bradfield and Taylor Dodds… All the Meeker girls. I’d say I just love them all.
How do you feel like you’ve all improved in the past few seasons?
Last year we went into regionals knowing we only had to win one game, so we won the first one and knew we couldn’t beat the other one. This year we have so much confidence, we know we can win every single game at regionals and make it far at state. I know we’ll do great because I have the best teammates ever.