A competitor who leads by example, Mackenzie Amodeo, has always wanted to play college softball.
That fantasy many student-athletes hold close to their hearts became a reality for the Rosewood senior on Thursday when she signed a national letter of intent to play softball at the University of North Carolina Wilmington next season.
“All of the hard work has paid off, and it’s everything I’ve worked toward since I was little,” Amodeo said. “I always knew that I wanted to go to UNCW because I’ve always been around there. A lot of my friends have been there, and I just knew that’s where I wanted to go.”
Amodeo understands winning.
She has played on two Rosewood teams that have won at least 13 games. During Amodeo’s sophomore season, Rosewood finished 17-8 and reached the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A playoffs.
“It’s been fun playing with people older than you and younger than you. You get mentored by the older players, and when they go, you get to mentor the younger players,” Amodeo said. “I like the team aspect of softball because everyone has to pitch in to win a game. It’s not just you.
“You can get the game-winning hit, but things lead up to that, so it’s a team sport, which I like.”
For her career, Amodeo has a .446 batting average, .506 on-base percentage, 66 hits, 50 RBIs, 14 doubles, and 11 home runs.
A spirited player with a contagious personality and passion for softball, Amodeo is also known for her playmaking on the defensive side. In 47 career games, she posted a .964 fielding percentage to go along with 153 putouts.
“I’ve had the chance to coach her for four years, and now she’s leaving, so there’s going to be big shoes to fill, but I’m super happy for her,” Rosewood head coach Shay Campbell said. “She’s an outstanding player. She’s a leader in the dugout and on the field, and she can play just about anywhere.
“She has a very sharp softball I.Q.”
Like many student-athletes, Amodeo, who wants to major in criminology, persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. Not getting to see her teammates was difficult, but that experience helped prepare Amodeo for college life where nothing is guaranteed.