By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
Former Cannon County three-sport athlete Macy Clements will continue her athletic career as a softball player at Motlow State Community College.
That, in itself, reveals Clements' extraordinary athletic ability.
Clements had not played softball for four years prior to joining the Lionettes' program in 2013. Until then, she had focused on girls basketball and cross country.
"I always wanted to play basketball in college," Clements confessed. "When I quit playing softball after my eighth-grade year I never thought I would play again, but the coaches approached me during my junior year and thought I could help the team. I decided to try. I never imagined I would play softball in college."
An All-District outfielder as a senior at Cannon County, Clements quickly adapted to the sport. She was among team leaders in batting average, runs scored and RBI during her senior campaign when she was named a Lions Award winner at the Cannon Courier Hall of Fame and All-Sports Banquet.
Clements said Lionettes Head Coach Dorinda Walker had approached her about her interest in playing college softball prior to the District 8-AA softball tournament in May.
"Coach Walker told me she had contacted the coach at Motlow about me," Clements said. "Coach Walker wanted to make sure I was interested in playing college softball and I said, 'Sure.'"
Coach Tori Raby-Gentry attended the Lionettes' district tournament game against Macon County - an eight-inning affair - and liked what she saw. Clements did a private workout at Motlow and later signed with the program.
"Macy had a great senior season and I felt she had the skills to play at the next level," Coach Walker said. "I just wanted to be sure Macy was interested in playing college softball and she was. To be as good as she is and not played in several years, I just think when Macy gets to college and is able to focus on one sport, she will excel even more. I'm happy for her to have this opportunity. She will be a good player because she is going to work hard."
Clements agrees that focusing on one sport should enable her to become an even more solid softball player.
"Being able to focus on one sport year-round will be a benefit," Clements said. "This will be good for me. Basketball took up a lot of time in the fall, winter and spring at Cannon County. There was a great emphasis on that sport and I was dedicated. Focusing on softball will allow me to improve on skills and areas that need that dedication."
Clements says facing several quality pitchers in District 8-AA allowed her to perform against top-notch competition, including intra-squad practices at Cannon County.
"I was really nervous when I came back out for softball at Cannon County because I had not played in four years," Clements said. "I didn't even have a bat to use in practice during tryouts. My batting average came out much better than I thought. I think facing Kristen (Hale) in practice helped make me a better hitter because she is such a good pitcher. I'm glad I didn't have to play against her in games."
Walker believes Clements can be an impact player at Motlow State which could translate into future opportunities at the Division I level.
"You are talking about a focused, dedicated player in Macy Clements," Walker said. "Once she gets to Motlow and puts all of her efforts into one sport the sky is the limit. She didn't really focus on softball at Cannon County because basketball was her main sport. She was still one of the top performers in our district. I believe her talent is evident and that will play out at Motlow."