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MaKayla Marbury Brings Deep Love For Softball To NC State

makayla marbury photo courtesy of NC State Athletics.jpg
(Photo courtesy of NC State Athletics)

MaKayla Marbury’s life has always been about softball. She didn’t play any other sports growing up, and she never wanted to play anything else. From the moment she could crawl, softball was always her love.

Marbury attended most of her older sister’s softball games with her parents and would run around at the field and pay close attention when her sister was at the plate. Her parents noticed Marbury’s undeniable interest in the sport, and got her started with a local team when she was six years old.

She progressed through youth softball in Maryland and eventually attended Bishop McNamara High School and played for the Birmingham Thunderbolts 18U Premier club team. Even when she wasn’t in softball season, she still focused solely on her favorite sport.

“(With) softball, we're always in season, you're always practicing,” Marbury said.

Following a prolific high school career in Maryland, one decommitment from the University of Maryland and being named to the 2019 Washington Post First-Team All-Metro squad, Marbury will begin her first college softball season in a few months at North Carolina State under fourth-year head coach Jennifer Patrick-Swift.

Out of high school, Marbury was a gap-to-gap hitter. Standing at just 5-foot-6 and weighing 115 pounds the summer before she got to NC State, Marbury was just trying to use her “athletic” build to get on base and be an impactful bat for the Wolfpack. NC State’s weight trainers and coaches had a different projection: Marbury was going to build muscle and work to turn those gap hits into home runs. The main focus for Marbury this fall has been taking care of her body more.

A regimen of more protein and hitting the weight room more frequently has helped her grow into what NC State hopes can be another power hitter in a lineup that had 82 home runs and 62 doubles last season.

“Now that I'm here, I'm trying to become a power hitter,” Marbury said. “(I'm) just building more muscle so I can hit everything out.”

Marbury’s nutrition plan isn’t as intricate as one may think. In fact, it tends to be as simple as eating breakfast each day, something she’s never really done. Now, in North Carolina, she’s eating three pancakes every morning and washing them down with a protein shake.

She noticed a difference in her strength in fall ball games this year. Her .522 batting average in high school is translating well to college, and she’s seeing the ball jump off of her bat more in games and in practice.

Settling in as a member of the Wolfpack—a place she says feels like home because of Patrick-Swift—and adding weight to her body is all geared toward Marbury becoming a standout freshman this spring. She wants to make an impact on the field and she hopes that her team will have a season that people remember in 2023.

“I want to be memorable,” Marbury said. “I just want people to be like, ‘Oh, she was a really good freshman.’”

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