From the moment MaKenna Mason was 3, her family knew she could catch. The rest of Warren County found out over the next 15 years.
Now Motlow is ready to see her skills as well.
Mason signed with the Lady Bucks Tuesday with hopes of extending her softball career as long as she can.
“I was looking at some schools and I have always loved Motlow,” said Mason, who added she will explore an education degree and follow in the footsteps on her mom. “It’s a two-year school and I can continue my career. It all really worked out.”
Lisa Mason knew her daughter was going to be able to play ball from the time she starting making bare-handed catches of plastic balls as a toddler. MaKenna looked like a natural from the time she took the diamond at 5, but it wasn’t until she got behind the plate that she really found her calling.
“When I was 11, I started playing catcher and fell in love with it. I love blocking it up, getting to touch the ball every play, all of it. It was great to me,” said Mason.
Motlow coach Janice Morey has been watching Mason for a few years, hoping she may be able to get the all-district Lady Pioneer on campus. There were two things to sweat out though – Mason had interest in several schools and she was also an all-district soccer player.
In the end though, Morey got her girl. Her excitement couldn’t be hidden at signing day.
“We have always had MaKenna on our radar. It was just waiting to see if she would come to us,” said Morey, who currently coaches former Lady Pioneer first basemen Lexie Chadwell. “(Kids from Warren County) just want to show up and play the game. They typically do well in school. We don’t have to worry about behavior. They’re all-around good kids.”
They’re also fierce competitors. Mason is no different.
When asked about her favorite memories on the softball field, Mason smiled and said, “Line drive to the shin – when I hit a line drive right off somebody’s shin.”
That mentality isn’t lost on her future coach.
“She’s a bulldog. The way she plays the game – hard-nosed and fearless – are the big things we love about MaKenna. She’s got a bat for sure too,” said Morey.
Gooby Martin has trusted Mason the last two seasons behind the plate. He’ll have her back there to steady the team again as a senior and is glad it won’t be her last time on the field.
“I’m happy for MaKenna. Any time you get to go further and extend your athletic career, that’s a nice accomplishment,” said Martin. “Motlow is getting a good athlete and I’m excited to see another Lady Pioneer play at the next level.”
While Mason is a catcher at heart, Martin’s description of her – a good athlete – is what Morey has seen as well.
“I tend to make all of my utility players. I recruit all my kids as athletes. Wherever the team needs you is where you’re at,” said Morey.
Mason doesn’t seem to mind. All she wants to do is live on the diamond.