Mikenzie Sandy has relished the opportunity of playing ball for the McMaster Marauders women’s fast-pitch team.
Following her first year at Queens University, Sandy transferred to McMaster where along with studying a four-year Bachelors of Arts honours degree in linguistics, she played ball in her second and third year. Unfortunately, her senior year got wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I really regretted not playing in my first year so I knew at least trying out was something I wanted to do,” Sandy said about playing with the McMaster Marauders. “Makes for an even better story having made it on the team.”
Growing up, Sandy’s go to position was second base, but more recently she has played third and catcher,
“I’ve played every infield position at some point so I guess it’s fair to say that’s where my strengths are,” Sandy said. “I’ve got quick hands going for me so I do well on the infield. I also do okay at bat. I can come in handy for a clutch hit every now and again.”
This Six Nations product, who grew up playing girls softball, couldn’t say enough good things about the overall experience of competing in university ball.
“It’s a really good feeling to consider myself a Mac Athlete,” Sandy said. “I’ve been so fortunate to have nothing but the greatest experiences with the teams and girls I’ve played alongside and Mac is no exception.”
Starting out in ball, Sandy first developed her skills with the Six Nations Mustangs. Through the years she has also played and excelled with the Dundas Running Rebels, Ancaster Blizzard, Brantford Bobcats, Haldimand Spitfires and of course the McMaster Marauders.
“I’ve got a couple super great memories from my years,” Sandy said. “In the 2016 season I was playing with Ancaster and it was the bronze medal game in provincial qualifiers. We were getting beat by the other team. I can’t recall who we were playing but I remember that they were all final year players and most of us were first (Most of us were 16/17, they were all 18). They had us beat or so they thought. We got a rally going and started catching up. Now we were only down by two with two on base and two outs. High stakes. Our pitcher came up to bat and sent one way over the centre fielders head and we won the game. What a rush.”
That second great memory came when in 2019, during Sandy’s second season, McMaster pulled off an epic comeback to dramatically clinch a spot in provincials which were being hosted in Hamilton.
“We had to beat this team in order to advance to provincials but it wasn’t looking good for us,” Sandy stated. “We were down by at least seven and knew we had to pull it together. First of our batters to get up to bat-boom, double. Next, book double. Again, boom double. It was crazy. We traded places (batter goes to second and the person on second comes home) for probably the lineup and a half. It was awesome. Our bench was going crazy the whole time. The other team had no idea what hit them. I think that was against Carlton.”
Many big names in women’s softball have over the years come out of Six Nations. When playing for the Six Nations Mustangs, Sandy, with her teammates, had the opportunity to meet and work with Six Nations own Carey-Leigh Vyse. Her many softball accomplishments include Gold at 2008 NAIG and playing on the 2011 Junior Women’s National Team. Not surprisingly Sandy mentioned her name as one of her home town heroes.
“I know there’s been several occasions when she’d come by one of our Mustang practices or run us through some drills during NAIG try out. It’s mesmerizing how quickly she does things.”
Reflecting on her softball career Mikenzie, who is about to enter the final semester of her fourth year, felt great pride in representing Six Nations.
“It’s always a good feeling to have your community’s name on your jersey,” Sandy said. “For a while, ball was the only sport I could represent Six Nations.”
Growing up, Sandy has along with softball, excelled in multiple sports, including ringette and box lacrosse to name a couple.
When Sandy is on the diamond, she always has a big smile on her face which, in hindsight, is what sports is all about.