Nix has a final softball season to remember

·5 min read

Jun. 4—It turned out to be a sensation final softball season for Kinsey Nix. And the former Allen High School multi-sport star gave her many fans an amazing final at-bat.

Let's set the scene.

Nix, an outfielder for Murray State College Aggies, was instrumental in helping the Aggies reach the championship game of the NJCAA Division II World Series. They made an amazing run through the national tournament and faced defending champion Phoenix College in the title contest.

Things hadn't got Murray State's way in the contest. The Aggies trailed 4-1 after four innings but the Bears clawed for five runs in the top of the sixth and tacked on four more in the seventh to boost their lead to 13-1. It was an insurmountable hill for MSC to climb in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The first two Aggie batters reached on a walk and a double, bringing Nix to the plate. She knew this was going to be the final time she was going to get to swing a bat in a college baseball game.

With not much at stake at the time, it would have been easy for Nix to kind of go through the motions. But that's not how Kinsey Nix is built.

"Coming up for my last at-bat was definitely the most emotional time I had during that game," Nix recalled. "I told myself to go up there and hit something hard not only for myself, but my family and teammates."

Nix was also doing it for the throng of fans she has in Pontotoc County and the surrounding areas. And she came through.

Nix ripped the ball past the Phoenix right fielder and motored all the way to third base for a two-run triple. It was definitely a memorable way to wrap up a memorable season for the local girl.

"As soon as the ball came off my bat I knew it was a hard hit ball that was going to burn the right fielder. When I saw it go over her head I told myself 'You are going to get a triple out of this for your last hit.' And it was a feeling I cannot describe when I stood up on third and looked at my team in the dugout," Nix explained. "I immediately thanked God, because I knew it was more than just softball at that moment."

Also worth mentioning is that Nix would score on an RBI single by teammate Brylea Russell, a Latta High School graduate.

Phoenix eventually won back-to-back national titles with a 13-5 victory. The Bears didn't have it so easy in a winner's bracket showdown with Murray State, sneaking past the Aggies 2-1.

"We came into that game with full confidence after beating the number one team in the country (an 11-3 triumph over Des Moines Area College). Our confidence and energy was never lost during that game or the games after," she said. "It was definitely disappointing not winning that game and would've given us a huge advantage at beating them a second time."

Phoenix featured fireballer Brianna Hardy in the circle. She was named the tournament's Most Valuable Pitcher, wrapping up her junior college career with an unbelievable 116-3 record and helped her team end the spring on a 16-game win streak and finish its spectacular season at 52-6. Hardy struck out eight in the national title game.

Nix said there's no double Hardy made life difficult for hitters she faced.

"It's hard to fully understand how good their pitcher was until you were in the box facing her. Not only did she throw 63-64, but she had a wicked changeup that constantly had us off balance in the box," Nix said. "I believe she threw pretty much every pitch you can throw, and she threw them all well. (Our) offense was outstanding throughout the year and she was good enough to slow our offense down and make us scrap for runs."

Once they got there, Nix said she and her teammates felt like they could make some noise when they arrived in Oxford, Alabama.

"When we punched our ticket we knew we had much more ahead to accomplish. It was just a weird feeling we all had that we were gonna make it all the way and nobody was intimidated or backed down to any team," she said. "We came together as a team and players at just the right time and it was pretty special."

Nix actually has one more year of eligibility left to play more college softball somewhere, but after many (agonizing I'm sure) conversations with her family, she has decided to hang up her cleats and pursue her nursing degree. She's heading to Southeastern Oklahoma State University this fall to do just that.

"This season was not only my last year at Murray but my last year of playing softball. My plan for a while now has been to finish at Murray and then attend nursing school at Southeastern," she said. "It was a very sad day for myself and my family. I've played softball for 16 years with no breaks or time off, and now all of the sudden it's over."

Nix admits it will be strange with no more trips to the ballpark, at least as a college softball player.

"It'll be hard to adjust to a completely different lifestyle but I'm excited to begin my journey in nursing," Nix said.

And knowing Kinsey Nix, it's bound to be just as successful as her softball career has been.