RICHLANDS, Va. – Numbers and achievements define the careers of athletes. Mackenzie Osborne is heading toward legendary status at Richlands High School.
Richlands softball coach Ronnie Davis reeled them off at the signing ceremony to officially make her a Virginia Tech Hokie on Wednesday in the school library.
Osborne, who has 59 wins, close to 900 strikeouts and a career earned run average of 1.18, is a two-time Class 2 Player of the Year, and three-time Region 2D Player of the Year.
Osborne, who pitched Richlands to the Class 2 state championship last season, also defies the rule of pitchers not being good hitters by carrying a .337 batting average with 71 career hits, 44 runs batted in and five home runs.
“She doesn’t run the bases any more so we don’t have any numbers there,” Davis said.
Those numbers went in the books over 2 ½ season, and despite her suffering a knee injury playing basketball during her sophomore season. Davis believes the knee injury and time lost to it is the only thing keeping her from possibly breaking Angela Tincher’s state record for career strikeouts.
Those numbers and the qualities her coaches, teammates and others saw in her from a young age demonstrated why Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour needed just one inning to watching her pitch to realize the Hokies need her on their team, according to Davis.
Her best friend and teammate Emma Crawford shared with the Wednesday audience about being frustrated because Osborne wouldn’t let her win at board games when they were young and realizing later that was a good thing.
Her pastor Allen Gross told an instance when Osborne as a young girl gave a toy to a crying child because theirs had been lost.
“You don’t teach that,” Gross said.
Davis summed it up best.
“If Mac tells you she is going to do something she does it,” said Davis, who recalled the Lady Blues clinging to a one-run lead in the final inning of the Class 2 state championship game last spring.
“Madison County got a runner aboard and Emily Seale was coming to the plate and she had hit a home run the day before,” Davis said. “I wanted to walk her but Mac wanted to pitch to her and she got her to ground out and we won the game.”
Osborne, Crawford and the rest of the Blue Tornado team return in hopes of one last title before she heads to Blacksburg and a Tech team that won the ACC’s Coastal Division and advanced to the NCAA regionals last season.
After helping the Richlands volleyball team to a spot in the region 2D tournament in the fall, Osborne plans to spend this winter preparing for softball and another step in her commitment to success.