Southern Wayne senior Mackenzie Bryan

Southern Wayne senior Mackenzie Bryan, white shirt, and the Southern Wayne volleyball team after Bryan signed her letter of intent to play softball at William Peace University.

Deciding where you want to spend the next four years of your life is never an easy decision to make.

Mackenzie Bryan opted for the small college route. On Thursday afternoon the Southern Wayne senior signed her letter of intent to play softball at William Peace University in Raleigh.

“It’s exciting, I was really nervous, but it’s worth it,” Bryan said. “I wanted a smaller, more personal education, and that’s what Peace can offer me being a smaller college, and then I really enjoyed the coaches and some of the girls that I met.”

Over the past four seasons, Bryan has blossomed into one of the Saints’ premier players. She has played on the varsity squad for every year of her high school career.

“Watching Mackenzie evolve into such a phenomenal softball player and pitcher over the past years has been exciting. She deserves it, and she earned every bit of what she’s getting,” Southern Wayne head coach Jamie Williams said. “She’s the total package, and when she’s in that circle, I know for a fact we have a chance because she’s such a competitor.”

On the mound, Bryan has won 15 games, has a 2.53 ERA and thrown 214 strikeouts. Offensively, Bryan’s career batting average is .365. She hit 18 doubles, four triples and 44 RBI.

This season Bryan is hitting .321 and is 4-3 on the mound with a .280 ERA. She helped guide the Saints to a 9-7 record, their first winning season in over a decade.

“It’s been a roller-coaster, but it’s been so much fun, this year our program is better than it has been in a really long time, and we are capable of accomplishing more than we have, it’s exciting,” Bryan said about her time at Southern Wayne.

The Pacers currently have a 15-17 record and have not had a winning season since 2016, but with Bryan joining the roster, it will not take long for the Pacers to get to their winning ways.

Bryan, who plans on majoring in biology and possibly minoring in forensic science, said she is excited to continue playing the sport she loves at the college level.

“I love the competition and team atmosphere, and I love the game itself,” Bryan said.