Home Local Sports COMMITTED: Steen to pursue softball, nursing careers at Coker

COMMITTED: Steen to pursue softball, nursing careers at Coker

Senior catcher/infielder Macy Steen announced her verbal commitment to Coker University late last week. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — A love for softball and the opportunity to pair it with preparing for her future career led to Macy Steen to verbally commit late last week.

A senior at Richmond Senior High School and a four-year varsity softball player, Steen announced she’d be attending Coker University.

“I am extremely blessed and excited to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at Coker University!” Steen posted on Twitter. “Thank you to my family, friends, and coaches that have helped me along the way. Go Cobras!”

Joining junior baseball player Camron Seagraves as the second Richmond student-athlete to announce playing at the college level this school year, Steen continues a strong tradition of the Lady Raider softball program producing college athletes.

This fall, former players Kenleigh Frye (Wingate) and Allyiah Swiney (Campbell) made the jump to the college ranks. 

In years prior, it was Kearston Bruce (2021, Bridgewater), Taylor Parrish (2019, Pfieffer), Greyson Way (2019, UNCG), Savannah Lampley (2019, UNCW/Wingate) and Owen Bowers (2018, Florida SouthWestern/Presbyterian/FGCU).

A year ago at the start of her junior year, Steen wasn’t sure if playing college softball and becoming a future healthcare worker would both be able to happen. But after meeting with the staff at Coker, she knew it was the perfect fit.

“I saw right away that (Coker’s) No. 1 priority was working with student-athletes,” Steen explained. “I was able to meet with the academic coordinator and the athletic director and they assured me I’d be able to play softball while being a nursing student.

“They are really trying to recruit more nursing students as athletes because they’re able to help us with our schedule and clinicals,” she added. 

Steen had a busy summer playing for her travel team Knockouts Carriker 18U, which first put her in contact with Coker head softball coach Brittany Bennett in early July at one of her tournaments.

Last month, Steen went on official visits to Coker and Limestone University, two schools that had shown interest in her as a catcher and corner infielder. Those visits turned into official offers from each school, which came two weeks ago.

“I had two offers from two really good schools, which I was thankful for, but I knew in my heart I wanted to go to Coker,” Steen said. “Making this decision is a big weight off my shoulders, and now I can enjoy the fact I’ve achieved the goal every high school student-athlete has.

“I’m so excited about the fact that everything has finally set in,” she added. “I’ve waited since I was 10 years old when I started playing softball for this dream to come true. This time last year, I wasn’t sure this would be a possibility.”

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Steen noted she chose Coker for a number of reasons on top of being able to pursue a career in nursing. She said she loved the campus, the city of Hartsville and the university’s small-town feel and close proximity to home.

Adding that she “loves the environment,” Steen is also excited that Coker “focuses on all of its athletics programs.”

Another factor was her quick bond with Bennett, which Steen said was a “selling point” after the head coach kept in close contact and made Steen feel like she was already part of the program.

The Coker Cobras, a Division II program, compete in the South Atlantic Conference. This will be Bennett’s first season as head coach after spending the last nine years at UNC Pembroke and winning over 200 games.

Last season, the Cobras finished with a 17-29 overall record. Against SAC opponents, Coker recorded a 7-17 record and finished in 11th place in the standings.

Steen has served as the battery mate of several pitchers at Richmond during her three-year varsity career. Last season, she caught fellow seniors Quston Leviner and Makayla Parks, with Richmond going 15-6 and finishing second in the Sandhills Athletic Conference.

As a junior, Steen batted .276 with two home runs, 16 RBIs and a .371 on base percentage. The Lady Raiders made it to the second round of the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs, something Steen hopes to add onto the spring.

“I want to work on my hitting for my senior season,” Steen said. “I didn’t have the best season at the plate last year, but I want to be more focused and be able to execute at the right times to bring runners in. 

“I want to have productive hits during each at-bat, and continue building up my strength and defensive skills.”

While she’s not ready to see her career at Richmond come to an end, Steen is excited about what the future holds in Hartsville.

“I’m looking forward to the big environment and making new teammates and new friends,” Steen shared. “A lot of the girls are similar to me, small-town people who will give me a level of comfort. I’m ready to compete and play college softball.

“I’d like to thank God and my parents for always believing in me and supporting me in what I do. There were times I was so back and forth, but my parents (Craig and Michelle Steen) always told me to do what makes me happy.

“And of course I want to thank all of my coaches,” she closed. “From Coach (Morgan) Davis at Rockingham, to Mike Way and Andy Shuler at Richmond and my travel coach Ryan Carriker. I also want to thank my friends and teammates because I don’t think I could’ve been successful without a good support group of kids my age.”

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.