Jul 16, 2011
Brianna Nunley has been playing softball since t-ball. The years of practice and dedication to her sport paid off when she learned that she had been named to the fast pitch softball All State team last season.
“I was so excited,” Nunley said. “That was one of my goals, and I’m glad I got to make it.”
Nunley was recruited to pitch at East Central University in Ada this next year. She said that out of all the colleges that talked to her, East Central was the one that felt right.
“I got a warm fuzzy when I went there for my visit,” Nunley said. “I liked the coaches and the campus and the town. It’s an hour and 15 minutes away from home, so it’s just right.”
East Central softball head coach Destini Anderson said Nunley’s intensity and work ethic in the game made her want to recruit the pitcher.
“She is a solid pitcher, and I think she will make an immediate impact on our team,” Anderson said.
For her senior season, Nunley had a 1.8 ERA. She had 22 wins and one save in 31 games, and she struck out 144 batters. Nunley pitched three one-hit ballgames.
“She has that die-hard instinct and wants to succeed,” Moore fast pitch head coach Stephanie Riley said. “She sets high team standards but even higher personal goals. She’s very driven and a great competitor.”
While at Moore, Nunley said she always focused on being an encourager to her teammates. Coach Riley said the team would often call Nunley “grandma” because she was a leader who wanted to take care of her teammates. The girls knew they could go to Nunley to talk if they needed to.
“I love to cheer for my teammates,” she said. “I like to keep the girls in a positive attitude and a good frame of mind.”
Nunley said the five seniors on the fast pitch softball team this year were very close. Coach Riley would sometimes have to come in and kick the five out of the locker room after they would spend hours sitting and talking after practices.
“She’d come out and just shut the lights off and leave,” Nunley said. “That was always our cue to finally go home.”
The comradery she had with her high school team at Moore, she hopes she will have on her college team, Nunley said.
“These last years in high school it’s been like a family,” she said. “For it to be like that in college, I’ll need to open up more and get to know the girls, the coaches and the program.”
Nunley said she would miss the girls at Moore, her high school coaches, the cheers and one special group of boys.
“I’m going to miss the ‘toss-outs’ too!” she said. “They were a group of basketball and baseball boys that would come and sit behind the fence and cheer for us. I hope we have that same school spirit in college.”
Although she loves softball, Nunley said there have been times when she thinks she might be too tired to play.
“I know though that if I didn’t play, I’d miss it too much,” she said. “I like that at some stages it’s a personal game, but at other points it’s a team game. It’s got both factors. It’s got a little bit of everything, and I love it.” ?