PIEDMONT, S.C. (WSPA) – Since middle school, Makenzie Livingston dreamed of becoming a college softball player. This fall, she gets to make that dream a reality as she prepares to join the program at North Greenville University.

“Probably about 7th grade year I was watching all these college games on TV and I was like ‘that’s definitely what I want to do,’” said Livingston.

The Crusaders expressed interest in the fall and even invited her to one of their camps. 

“Over the next couple weeks I kept talking with Coach Hall and I went to one of their Limestone games and that’s when they offered me to come play at North Greenville,” Livingston said.

“I think North Greenville’s going to get a gem,” said Wren Head Coach Lynn Hicks. “She’s a born leader and she takes her academics and her athletics very seriously.”

Livingston was a five-year starter for the Hurricanes, playing multiple positions on the diamond. In 22 games this past season, she recorded a team-high five home runs, 17 RBI, and had a near .500 on base percentage. A performance that she credits to her longtime head coach. 

“We’ve been out here for so late some days, because she wants us to be better…and [Hicks} definitely made me a better player and a better person.”

Livingston also excels in the classroom. She posts a 4.7 GPA, and takes several honors courses. Hicks said that productivity in academics does translate to the field.

“Probably one of the biggest things is her intelligence,” Hicks said. “She understands the game. She understands when we need to lay a bunt down, she understands just the little things…She’s going to be an honor graduate. She’s National Honors Society, she’s Beta Club, she’s Spanish National Honors Society. So she’s a born leader and she takes her academics and her athletics very seriously.”

“Lots of long hours up at night after practices and games up until midnight or one o’clock studying, or doing homework. And lots of dedication in the classroom to be able to focus to get the good grades I have,” ” Livingston said after being asked how she juggles academics and athletics.

And those grades paired with her skills on the field have gone a long way towards her ultimate goal: being a four year starter at North Greenville and eventually becoming an orthopedic surgeon.