WILLIAMS, Ariz. - After four years as a standout first base player for the Williams High School softball team, Devin McNelly has earned an academic and athletic scholarship to attend McPherson College in Kansas.
McNelly was playing with her club softball team, the Flagstaff Chill, at a showcase in Las Vegas in October when the head softball coach at McPherson offered her a spot on the team.
"I was super excited," McNelly said. "Now I'm nervous since it's getting closer. But it was really cool. I've never had that happen before."
After visiting the school in January and accepting the offer, McNelly will start school there in August.
"We went there and I got to practice with the team and did like the team bonding thing and they were all really nice," McNelly said.
McNelly's athletic scholarship is $5,000. Based on her grade point average and ACT college entrance test scores, McNelly earned a $12,500 academic scholarship. She plans to study business management.
"I'm not completely sure but I'm starting there," she said. "We'll see what happens."
In the meantime, McNelly will continue playing with the Flagstaff Chill until she leaves for college.
Williams High School softball coach Edgar Brown said playing for a club team is a good way for Williams players to get noticed, since they come from a small school that might not get as much exposure as larger schools.
Brown said he was proud and happy for McNelly to get the opportunity to continue playing softball after high school.
"Devin's a heck of a first baseman because she's played first base since her freshman year for us and she's real good at it," Brown said. "Every year she improved and can do amazing things."
Brown added that this season McNelly hit two home runs over the fence.
"It's not one of these things of she can only hit the ball a certain way," Brown said. "She hits the ball where it's pitched."
Although Brown did not keep statistics on his players this year, he estimates McNelly's batting average would have been in the high .400 range for this season. He predicts that McNelly will be successful in her college softball career as well.
"She's going to be really surprised at how good she is and how good she is going to be," he said.
Besides securing a spot on a college softball team, McNelly also earned First Team All Division honors this season and last season.