You might say Meagan McCullough fits like a glove at Northeastern (Texas) Community College.
An oversized softball outfielder’s glove that is.
McCullough signed recently to play outfield and leadoff the squad as she leaves the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats for the softball diamond in nearby Mount Pleasant.
"Meagan is just what we are looking for. We are losing our top hitters in the lineup and we need and outfielder. She really fits out needs," said Jessica Keith, head softball coach at NTCC. "We recruit the person, not just the player. Meagan is a good fit, she's local and from a good program."
Keith said, "What I liked was the look in her eye. She is eager to learn, to improve. She is very coachable, she wants to get better and I think she will in college. Getting good kids who are also good players from this area helps our program. We have a good team now, we are in third place the league. We have an excellent recruiting class coming in. We want to be good every year."
The coach admitted that she would like to get a "pipeline" from Sulphur Springs to NTCC to sign standout players. McCullough is the second Lady Cats to ink with the program. Recently, pitcher/infielder Hailey Dixon agreed to attend the junior college on March 27.
McCullough has not only been leading the team as the opening hitter, but the leadoff, slap hitting lefty has taken on a role of responsibility during her senior year according to head coach David Carrillo.
"Meagan has really stepped up her game and leadership this year," Carrillo said. "She moved to centerfield and has taken that on without a problem. She's fast with a good arm and is a good defensive player. I think she will do well in that same leadoff hitter/centerfielder role in college. She has the dedication and will work hard on her game in college. There's nothing mentally or physically she can't handle. This is a great opportunity for her and it's exciting. I am glad she is playing close so I can go watch her and Hailey play. She will do well playing at the next level."
This year she is hitting .337 at leadoff and has a .387 on-base average.
The speedy senior was pondering several college offers before deciding on Northeast CC.
"I got to visit the campus and it was really nice. I decided to take their offer, I am glad they want me to play for them," McCullough said. "Because it is so close my family can come see me play and I can back here and watch my brother (Drew) when he has games. It's just a good fit for me and I am proud to be playing for NTCC. Signing today, I get to see all the people who have helped and supported me all these years. It makes me feel good. People like coach Carrillo and (Eric) Buck who have been with me and helped me everyday to get better."
The gathering of parents, grandparents and coaches were a little much emotion for her mom, Christie McCullough. She looked at her daughter and said, "This is why you play T-ball. I am getting emotional ... I will defer to John."
John McCullough, current superintendent at Sulphur Bluff, is a former teacher, coach, principal at Sulphur Springs. He recalled his daughter’s start in the sport at age five.
"Meagan started when she was five and since then she has kept with it and put in the work," McCullough said. "She has been practicing on the weekend, playing on the traveling teams. When she was 11 or 12 years old she made it her goal to play in college. This is a dream come true for her, I know she will put in the work to do well at the next level."
McCullough remarked that her future NTCC teammate, Hailey Dixon, also a current member of the Lady Cats, is someone she has played softball with for many seasons and summers.
"Meagan had an elbow injury and came back from that and was really was determined to do well in high school," McCullough said. "She worked hard and saw that she could play with the best players. This is a great opportunity for her and we've glad she stayed close enough for us to go to watch her games at Mount Pleasant."
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