Virden’s Mackenzie Roach will do whatever it takes to help her University of Regina women’s softball team succeed.
This season she has played a couple key positions for the Cougars. The team went undefeated this past weekend at the Western Collegiate Softball Association championship. It beat the University of Calgary, 9-2, in five innings in the finals.
In 2016, the daughter of Nicky and Doug Roach was a Western Collegiate Softball Association Second Team All-Star as a utility player. In 2017, she was a Canadian Collegiate Softball Association First Team All-Star outfielder and was named a WCSA First Team All-Star outfielder in 2018. With the Cougars’ previous shortstop graduating and the heir apparent injured, Roach spent the first half of this season playing that position.
“She gives you everything she's got at all times … She has been huge for us this year stepping up to fill that spot and has done an incredible job at it,” U of R coach Mikaila Etheredge said.
Roach, who has returned to the outfield, said:
“I enjoyed that playing shortstop is a totally different strategy, not only mentally but physically as well, and that shortstop is essentially the leader of the infield, so I had to learn the ropes right away. I also enjoyed seeing the field from a different angle than when I was in outfield.”
When it comes to Roach’s play at the plate, Etheredge called her a triple threat.
“As a lefty, she can hit away, slap, or bunt for a hit,” the coach said. “She is our fastest player and her having both speed and power makes it nearly impossible for the defence to know how to play her. Whatever they set up for, she will just do the opposite.”
As well, Etheredge called her “a bit of glue for the team.”
“Roach brings a lot of personality and fun to the team. She is easy going, funny, and personable. … Her personality combined with the fact that she gives 100 per cent at all times make her a silent leader for us. She doesn't ask or really want to be looked at as a leader, she just naturally is.”
Now in her fourth season, Roach has helped the Cougars succeed since joining the team. The squad won the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association championships last season and bronze at nationals both of the two years before that.
Roach’s younger sister, Brooklyn, played on the championship team but sustained an injury early on this season. The elder sibling has enjoyed having her sister as a teammate and appreciates her coach and teammates, who have become some of her best friends.
The accounting major, who plans to graduate in 2021, praised her parents for their strong support of her entire softball career.
“It’s hard for them to watch every game I have, so they support me by coming every chance they get as well as cheering me on from home for away games,” Roach said. “I would not be the softball player I am today if it wasn’t for their support through my career, I am very lucky to have such great parents.”