Ex-Lady Eagle hurler motivated to achieve more at Texas State
Meagan King left her high school career behind in Mont Belvieu and matriculated to Texas State University in 2017 where she embarked on what was a hoped-for solid collegiate pitching career in San Marcos.
So far, so good.
King finished her sophomore season last spring with a second-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection as she made 24 starts from the circle and finished 18-11 after 168.1 innings of work and a 2.95 ERA.
She also struck out 85 batters compared to allowing 33 walks.
For King, she was not expecting her pitching coach Cat Osterman to come and tell her any such news relating to postseason accolades.
“It’s actually kind of funny because when Coach Osterman came and told me one day it was during the postseason and said ‘Hey, congrats,’ I was like, ‘for what?’” King said. “I am such a self-critic and the whole season I was thinking I could do better. In my mind, I was kind of shocked, but also super happy and proud that my work paid off. But there is room for improvement.”
King took time to look back at her season in the circle and was not super hyped about her performance in meetings with coaches who reminded their pitcher of the numerous highlights she produced during the season.
“It put the season in perspective for me,” King said. “I guess it’s OK to sometimes congratulate myself. Still, I was like that even next year; let’s do better. It’s a drive for improvement and I am always wanting to do better for my team and never stop wanting to do better.”
King’s gradual improvement as an NCAA Division I pitcher is no surprise to Barbers Hill head coach Aaron Fuller who saw his former pitcher clean house on numerous awards during her days as a Lady Eagle.
“Meagan was a great player, a great leader and an even better person,” Fuller said. “She’s an extremely hard worker and she’s driven to be the best at everything she does. As a pitcher, she’s a combination of power and finesse. She made pitch calling easy for me because she could throw any pitch in any count to any batter she faced.
“She was a lot of fun to coach and we’re all enjoying her success at Texas State.”
King has seen herself be able to overcome slow starts that have plagued her first two collegiate seasons.
“Both years, as the year went on, I was able to step into my role better,” King said. “After preseason, I would get into my groove. It has a lot to do with getting confidence in myself and my pitches.”
King went 7-1 her freshman year while throwing 57.1 innings.
Her bread-and-butter pitch is the slow curve.
“That pitch helps set the tone for how my pitching is going to go for the whole game,” King said. “Everyone is so used to hitting the fast pitch. At practice, a lot of (batters) work on location, outside-inside, but not looking to use good mechanics on waiting for a good pitch. It’s definitely an important pitch for a pitcher to have.”
King enjoys returning to watch her old high school play and visit with her former coaches and fellow Lady Eagles.
She is proud of how Barbers Hill continues to be one of the state’s best programs.
“Barbers Hill has never really had a lack of talent in the softball world and it makes me proud to be a part of something that is still being successful and making a name for Barbers Hill,” King said.
As for Texas State, the team had a hiccup of a season, going 29-25 after a long string of success including a 43-16 mark the previous year.
A young roster had a lot to do with that and King feels good about the team going forward.
“We have a very promising future with another year under our belt,” King said. “We are still learning how to be a team. My freshman year we were led by seven starting seniors and last year we had seven starting freshmen.
“Next year is going to be leaps and bounds better. I hope to put better numbers up for myself. It’s a learning process from year-to-year. I am not concerned with awards. As long as I see myself being a better person and teammate that’s all that matters to me.”