2016 Portland High School graduate Keely McGee has decided to move on from her softball career at MTSU.

The senior was given an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the world in March but said that there is no point in coming back to play one more year.

“It was not the easiest decision, but in the end, there was no point in me coming back if I was not going to get anything out of it,” McGee said. “The nursing program at MTSU does not generally allow athletes to join because of clinicians and our strenuous schedules.”

A new graduate with a B.S. in Exercise Science, McGee will attend Union University in Hendersonville to participate in their nursing program for the next 15 months. 

“I considered returning to MTSU to get my Masters in Education and becoming a teacher of some sort, but I did not consider it too long because I have always wanted to go to nursing school,” 

McGee described her four years at MTSU as a rollercoaster ride but a memorable one.

“I learned that I was raised right by my parents, and they put me in a good position to succeed,” she said. “Because of that, I am good at managing my time, and I know I will accomplish whatever (goal) I set my mind on. I have no regrets.”

During her four years, she was named a four-year member to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll, a two-time C-USA Academic Medal Winner, and a two-time NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete.

“I think high school at Portland helped me transition to being a college student-athlete because I was always busy playing two sports and trying to juggle academics,” she said. “The transition to MTSU felt smooth, but I will admit it took a couple of weeks my freshman year to settle in.”

McGee enjoyed her most successful season on the field in her sophomore year. McGee batted a career-high .267 from the plate with 32 hits, 14 runs scored, 12 RBI, seven extra-base hits and one home run. She stole double-digit bases ever year as a Blue Rand recorded a career-high 33 stolen bases her sophomore year. MTSU also enjoyed an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in 2018 following a 7-6 win over FAU in the C-USA Tournament. 

She finished the tournament 4-for-13 with two RBI and two stolen bases. 

Her most memorable personal moment came during the Blue Raiders’ run.

“We were playing FIU, and they had the best pitcher in the conference,” she said. “The game was tied 0-0, but we had two runners on, and I was struggling at the plate. She threw me an outside pitch, and I connected for a two-RBI single to put us ahead for good.”

During the 2018 season, McGee became a mainstay in the left field, starting 50 of the team’s 54 games.

“We were well-connected on the field as a team; it felt more like a family,” she said of her sophomore year. “That year came easy.”

Now that her softball career is over, McGee will focus on obtaining her Nursing Degree but says coaching may be in her future. 

“I have coached my old travel ball team the past two summers, and I enjoyed that,” she told the Portland Sun. “Right now, I am not sure, but maybe in the future.”

Since graduation, McGee has moved back to Portland and plans to live there for the ‘foreseeable future.’

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