A broken leg didn’t keep Jones County Junior College outfielder Simone McKinney from landing a SWAC softball scholarship.
The former Harrison Central star signed with Alcorn State Thursday on day two of the NCAA Fall signing period.
McKinney also played in seven games before her season-ending injury last year for JCJC. She hit .318 with two doubles, a triple and one stolen base.
The Lady Braves are coached by Josef Rankin, a former St. Martin softball coach.
“It was like family and I have a lot of friends there if I get homesick,” McKinney said in a release. “The coach is like a big role model and that’s a big reason I chose to go to Alcorn.”
The Lady Bobcats (55-4) were the NJCAA Division II National Tournament runner-ups last season and also won the MACJC and Region 23 Tournament titles.
JCJC coach Chris Robinson believes the Lady Bobcats will be solid with a healthy McKinney in the starting lineup.
“She will be a big factor for us,” Robinson said. “Right before she got hurt last year, she had figured it out and had started to really play well. We are looking for her to step in and be a strong player for us.”
At Harrison Central, McKinney was a two-time Sun Herald All-South Mississippi selection and played on three straight 6A state championship teams. As a senior, she hit .605 in 31 games, scored 45 runs, had an on-base percentage of .619 and accounted for 21 stolen bases out of 23 attempts.
“Simone’s fully dedicated and I don’t remember her ever missing practice,” Harrison Central coach Jimmy Parker said. “She always worked hard. Whenever Simone got on base, we scored. She’s a winner and a leader. She takes losing personally. She’s worked hard to come back from injury. I see good things in the future from her at JCJC and Alcorn.”