An 'instant yes': Anderson's dream comes true

Friday, May 29, 2015
Marshall County High School's McKenzie Anderson (front row, middle) signed a letter of intent to play softball at Motlow State Community College on Friday. Also pictured with Anderson are (front row, from left), father Tony Anderson, mother Misty Beard; and, (back row, from left) Marshall County athletic director Kevin McGehee, Marshall County softball coach Heather Denton, cousin Kierstin Beard, grandmother Cindy Farmer, Motlow State softball coach Tori Raby-Gentry, and Marshall County assistant coach Danny Hollingsworth. Photo by Louis Scheuchenzuber

After reeling in Marshall County High School shortstop Ashton Watkins a few days earlier, Motlow State Community College softball coach Tori Raby-Gentry netted another MCHS player on Friday morning when senior first baseman McKenzie Anderson signed a letter of intent to play for the Lady Bucks.

"It's very exciting to play with Ashton because we grew up playing ball together. Now we get to play with each other for two more years," said Anderson.

"It's been my dream to play in college. I got very lucky when Motlow offered me. I didn't hesitate when they offered. It was an instant 'yes,' and I made a date to sign."

Home of talent

Marshall County has been a fertile recruiting ground for Raby-Gentry lately, as she has signed a total of six players from MCHS and Cornersville over the last four years.

"We've had good success with the players here not only with the talent level, but also with their work ethic. We like to have those types of kids in our program," said Raby-Gentry.

With Motlow State losing its first baseman at the end of this season, Anderson has a chance to contribute early for the Lady Bucks.

"She'll definitely help us offensively and defensively at the corner position. She'll likely play first base, but you never know," said Raby Gentry.

"What class you're in really doesn't matter. The best player is going to be out there, and with her work ethic, she has a chance to play."

Building a career

Tigerettes' first baseman McKenzie Jo Anderson batted .325 on the season with two home runs and 19 RBI. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

After breaking into the Tigerettes' starting lineup as a sophomore, Anderson got off to a fast start during her junior year and owned a .346 batting average with a home run and seven RBI through the first 10 games of the 2014 campaign before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

Anderson, though, bounced back from the setback and closed her Tigerette career with a strong senior year, as she recorded a .325 batting average, belted two home runs, and drove in 19 runs while earning all-district honors while helping to lead Marshall County to the District 12-AA tournament title.

Team leader

"She has stepped up and has been a tremendous asset at first base. Whenever a ball was hit to first base, we knew it was locked down. McKenzie also has a good bat and hits the ball hard. She got a lot of big RBI for us late in the season," said MCHS coach Heather Denton.

"She was one of the leaders of the team this year. Anything I asked, she would do. She would help out the younger girls and help them to do things correctly."

Anderson has been a standout in the classroom as well at Marshall County and boasts a 3.87 GPA. She looks to continue her success on and off the field at Motlow State.