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6x state champ Kadey McKay wants to ‘stand out’ at Oklahoma
(Courtesy: Kadey McKay)

6x state champ Kadey McKay wants to ‘stand out’ at Oklahoma

CADDO, Okla. (BVM) – The Oklahoma Sooners have been at the top of college softball over the last several years, building a winning culture that has led to three consecutive national championships. Winning is part of the Sooners’ DNA, and the same can be said for one of Oklahoma’s 2024 commits, Kadey McKay, who is ready to live out her dream in Norman.

“I just can’t wait to get on that field and wear that crimson,” McKay said. “It’s really a dream come true. It’s something that I’m super excited for, ready for, and I’m just ready to play some good softball.”

McKay will bring an incredibly accomplished resume to Norman. Winning a state championship in any sport at the high school level isn’t easy and is something not all experience. That’s part of what makes McKay’s softball career to this point so special, as she recently capped her time at Caddo High School with a sixth consecutive state title.

Making the championships even sweeter is the fact that McKay got to share them with her father, Dustin McKay, who is the Bruins’ head coach.

“I’m really blessed to have had that opportunity for my dad to be my coach all four years and basically my whole life,” Kadey said. “He’s the best coach I’ve ever had. He loves the game just as much as his players do. He wants to win, but he also knows it’s ok to lose at certain points and it’s not just all about softball, it’s about the game of life.

“Me and him sharing it is just something that’s unreal … A lot of people don’t even experience a state championship and doing it with my dad, it’s just something that I can’t even put words to.”

Kadey McKay Oklahoma Sooners NCAA softball Caddo High School Bruins six state championships
Kadey McKay won six state championships alongside her father, Dustin McKay, who is the head coach of the Bruins. (Credit: NATHAN J. FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Kadey has been playing softball since she could walk. While she has played other sports, including basketball through high school, softball immediately became Kadey’s passion.

“I’ve always been around it,” Kadey said. “It’s something that I fell in love with at such a young age and I’ve just had such great support.

“It’s a game that I don’t want to fail in, so I work so hard at it … It’s something that I’ve loved my whole life.”

Kadey’s talent shined through during her youth career and was evident by the time she entered high school. When she was just 14, the talented shortstop made the jump from the 14U level to 18U during travel ball, gaining valuable experience with Epic National while realizing her potential.

“It was my first time playing 18U, and I got to start, and I’ll never forget I played really well and I was like, ‘Ok, I can do this. I know I’m young, but I can do this for sure,’” Kadey said.

At the same time, Kadey began what would ultimately become a legendary high school career. However, it admittedly took her some time to get used to playing at that level as a freshman on a team that featured only nine players.

“It was scary for sure coming in as a freshman,” Kadey said. “But I knew that I could play with everyone.”

By her sophomore season, Kadey was fully settled in and the Bruins got some reinforcements as seven talented freshmen joined the squad. The result was the program’s first-ever fastpitch state championship, a run fueled by the emotion of Kadey’s grandfather passing away shortly before the state tournament.

Kadey McKay Oklahoma Sooners NCAA softball Caddo High School Bruins six state championships
Kadey McKay’s first state championship win during the fall of her sophomore year was also the first fastpitch state title in Caddo softball history. (Credit: NATHAN J. FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK)

“It was just an unreal feeling,” Kadey said. “It was something that I’ll never forget. Winning that first one was amazing.

“They’re all great. But nothing can top that very first one. It was just that sigh of relief that we actually did it. We came up here, we dominated and we proved to people that we can win it … We haven’t stopped since.”

Caddo had a dominant spring as well and also earned a slowpitch state championship. That set up another challenge: accomplishing the same feat during the 2022-23 season.

“We won the first two and we’re like, ‘Ok, we can do this again,’” Kadey said. “It got harder. We had a big target on our back … I feel like that fired us up more.”

The 2022 fastpitch state championship game was a close 2-0 contest, but the 41-1 Bruins came out on top once again as Kadey hit over .500 on the season. They did the same in the spring’s slowpitch state title game, a more dominant run-rule victory, ultimately setting the stage for Kadey to become a six-time state champion as a senior. 

Kadey McKay Oklahoma Sooners NCAA softball Caddo High School Bruins six state championships
Kadey McKay hit home runs in both of the Bruins’ state championship victories during her senior year. (Credit: BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK)

“I knew it was my last ride and I think all the girls really worked hard, they wanted me to go out on a bang,” Kadey said.

Caddo did just that, winning yet another fastpitch state championship in a 1-0 pitchers’ duel this past fall. Kadey provided the lone home run, capping a season where she hit .444 with three homers, 29 RBIs and 45 runs.

“It’s still a dream to me of how I ended right there in fastpitch with that home run I hit,” Kadey said. “That one was really special for me.”

The Bruins capped the year with a third-straight slowpitch championship as well in a storybook ending for Kadey. Up 9-3 with the bases loaded, the shortstop blasted a grand slam in the final at-bat of her high school career for a run-rule victory.

“It was basically another dream come true,” Kadey said. “I couldn’t believe I got the opportunity to walk it off. I didn’t get pitched to a lot at all that game. I remember looking over to my dad, he started smiling, and I was like, ‘Ok, if I get one pitch, I’m hitting it.’ 

“I still can’t believe it to this day. It gives me goosebumps just talking about it … It’s picture perfect, really.”

Kadey cemented herself as a star on the softball field and will continue to cheer on her dad and former teammates as they aim to continue their dominance. But as a good basketball player, a terrific student and someone who was also involved in various clubs and organizations, she hopes she left a legacy at Caddo that goes beyond the diamond.

“I hope the legacy I leave behind is not just a good softball player, but also a great person,” Kadey said. “There are so many young girls that look up to me and our softball team, and I’m so grateful for that. I hope more to leave a mark on the town to the little girls that want to go play college ball that it doesn’t really matter where you’re from … As long as you put in the work, you will get noticed.”

“I hope the best for them. It’s just unheard of, going eight for eight … That would be icing on the cake.”

While Caddo looks to continue its success, Kadey will begin her next chapter in Norman, one she has always dreamed of.

“I had been there before, I had watched OU my whole life,” Kadey said. “My mind was set that I wanted to go play there.

“Coach Gasso offered me right there on my visit … I was really shocked by it. It was one of the best feelings ever. I started crying, my family started crying. OU is just a place that is so beautiful and the way they play the game is how I’ve wanted to play and how I have played my whole life.”

Kadey’s commitment came early in her junior year, not long after Oklahoma became back-to-back national champions. Since then, the Sooners have added another title and have again been one of the top teams in college softball in 2024, something that has been exciting to watch for the incoming recruit.

“Seeing them succeed just makes me more excited for my turn,” Kadey said. “The love they have for the game is something that I can’t wait to be a part of … It’s something I’ve looked forward to my entire life.”

Kadey McKay Oklahoma Sooners NCAA softball Caddo High School Bruins six state championships
Kadey McKay is hoping to add to the championship success the Sooners have had over the last several years. (Courtesy: Kadey McKay)

Another exciting aspect of joining the Sooners is the opportunity to represent her home state.

“It’s not very often that you get an Oklahoma girl to play at Oklahoma, so I just hope I go up there and do my best and represent Oklahoma the best that I can,” Kadey said.

As her opportunity in Norman approaches, Kadey is ultimately focused on doing her best, earning playing time, and continuing the winning both she and the Sooners are accustomed to.

“I want to stand out, I want to work hard and I really do want to play,” Kadey said. “That’s the ultimate goal for sure, is to go up there and start … I’m just going to go up there and play my game that I play.

“I’m hoping we get some rings and some national titles … I don’t think I could’ve picked a better place to go. I’m just so looking forward to this fall and starting up with them. It really is a blessing.”

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