OKLAHOMA CITY — Alabama’s 2016 softball season came to an end Saturday in a 6-4 Women’s College World Series loss to LSU.
The defeat also ends the career of senior center fielder Haylie McCleney, who leaves the program with a school-record .447 batting average and a .569 on-base percentage. The All-SEC performer — who has represented Team USA overseas — was asked after Saturday’s game to sum up her college career.
Here’s a look at what McCleney said in response to that question:
“You asked us to sum up our careers, and I don’t think it’s something we can do, and I don’t think it’s something that we … ever expected to do. I never thought this day would come.
“But I can’t say enough about this program. There is no other place in the world like Alabama. I played in Japan, I played in Europe … Alabama is special and it’s a special program because we leave better people and not just better players. That’s easy when you go into college, of course you’re going to leave a better player. Not everyone leaves a better person.
“But everyone that graduates out of our program leaves a better person. And we go out into the world and we impact others, and we lead and we learn how to put others before ourself and that’s what I’m most proud of. Because everyone on this team is a great person. And you can say that every single year.
“We never have a bad egg. And that’s because of Coach (Patrick) Murphy. All you recruits out there, you need to come to Alabama. I’m telling you, man, it’s literally the best place in the world.”
McCleney expressed similar sentiments via her Twitter account:
Thank you, Alabama. You will forever have my heart & my soul. I gave you everything I had. pic.twitter.com/W1OUVtIwkO
— Haylie McCleney (@hayliemac8) June 5, 2016