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McCurtain’s Makenna Murdock – “The Cowgirl Way” Presented by Connors State College

Making the move from high school to college athletics can be trying even in a normal year. As we know, 2020 was anything but normal and for Connors State sophomore-to-be Makenna Murdock there were other obstacles to overcome. 

After a great senior year in her hometown of McCurtain where she helped lead the basketball team to the state playoffs and the fast pitch team to the regional finals, she decided to walk on for the softball squad at Connors.

“I really didn’t know much about her because I was still relatively new to the area,” said Connors State head coach Bryan Howard. “But when I saw her swing the bat I was convinced.”

And for Makenna, the move to Warner was a good fit.

“I liked Connors because I knew some of the girls who had played there and it was fairly close to home which was important to me,” said the Cowgirl shortstop. “Last year was a little strange with all of the Covid rules we had to follow making it difficult to get into a regular season routine.”

The early part of the season the young freshman worked out at third and shortstop, but she made her mark at the plate with five homeruns in the first half dozen games. But later in the spring she suffered a shoulder injury that limited her playing time. However, she still managed to hit .338 with six homeruns and 20 RBI’s and still kept working in the weight room and exhibiting the kind of character it takes to be in the Cowgirl Way.

“She’s strong and talented but her hard-working character is really what makes her special,” said Howard. “We have a pretty tough schedule of weight training, cross-fit and other things and Makenna was always one of the first there and also on the field.”

Her nagging shoulder injury has kept her out of travel ball this summer, but she continues to hit the weight room and get ready for her sophomore season where she will be expected to be one of the team leaders.

“I think a good leader needs to not only help the new players but also be able to take criticism when it’s warranted,” said Makenna. “They can’t think that they’re perfect-they need to be able to give and take.”

She has high hopes for the softball season next spring and knows what advice she’ll have for the new freshmen that will hit the campus in August.

“When I first started, I was kind of intimidated and it took me a bit to find myself. But eventually I got more comfortable because I knew what I could do and started being myself. And that’s what I’ll tell the freshmen. Don’t be scared. Believe in yourself and know there’s a reason you’re here.”

Makenna is studying nursing and wants to continue her studies and play softball at the next level after her time at Connors.

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