With the mid-morning Oklahoma summer heat already beating down, Caddo softball coach Dustin McKay and his shortstop Kadey Lee McKay were at the field mowing, raking and manicuring it to perfection.
“Let’s go up to my office out of the heat,” said Dustin, who went and grabbed us all a bottle of water before we made our way to his office which is one flight of stairs above field level beyond a fence down the right field line.
“We’ve got six more fields to mow before Kadey and I have to go to travel ball later today.”
Against that backdrop, I started my talk with the highly successful Lady Bruins softball coach and his daughter, who has verbally committed to play softball at the University of Oklahoma following her senior year.
Caddo has evolved into something of a juggernaut in Oklahoma high school softball, winning four state titles in a row. That’s two straight in fastpitch and slow-pitch. During that run, the Lady Bruins have compiled an impressive 156-13 record including a 41-1 mark during their 2022 state title run in fastpitch.
Dustin said the program started to pick up steam in 2017 and he credits the past players with getting the tradition started.
Of course, it all starts with having talented players. But Dustin said Caddo softball players are long on pride, bought into what he and the coaches are doing and are willing to “run through a wall for you.”
“Being from here is a huge deal in itself,” he said. “Our coaching staff strives to get the best out of our players. Also, with the strength of our schedule, on any given day we could lose, and I think that helps us.”
That brings us to his daughter, Kadey Lee.
Through her junior season, she has been a mainstay on a team that has featured plenty of great players including recently graduated pitcher-center fielder Emily Robinson who is taking her basketball talents to Oral Roberts University.
Kadey’s career line is impressive. A .464 batting average with 31 doubles, 23 triples, seven home runs and 149 runs batted in. At shortstop, she flashes the leather with a .911 fielding percentage. “I’ve been playing softball since I could walk, “she told me. ” I love the sport and how you have to compete to win.”
As anyone who has ever tried it, coaching your kid can be a challenge.
“I’ll be honest, her freshman year, I didn’t know if we could finish this out,” Dustin admitted. “We bumped heads and are wired a lot alike. But at the end of the day, from a dad’s perspective, you have to learn to try and not take this stuff home with you.”
He describes Kadey as a team leader on and off the field and a player that does everything “the right way.” High praise from a coach.
Kadey said she tries to lead. However, in a positive way. “When I came into high school, all I wanted to do was win a state championship. That’s been my mindset. I try to push the other girls too. We are all on board with it. You’ve seen what we’ve done, and we just want to keep doing it.”
About being a Sooner, Kadey said she picked OU after her first college visit to the Norman campus. She called the recruiting process quick. However, her dad reminded her, it may have happened in just a few days during the 2022 fastpitch season. But it was nerve-wracking for the entire family.
After playing phone tag, Sooner coach Patty Gasso finally got a hold of the McKay’s who were in Denton, Texas for travel ball. A few days later, the two sides met in face-to-face discussions in a recruiting office on the OU campus.
“I thought the discussions were going well and I remember thinking,” Dustin recalled. “Hey, we may have a shot at this.”
The McKay’s did and Gasso offered.
Kadey said yes.
Dad called the OU signing “surreal.”
“It’s something we have dreamed of since she was little bitty. She went to camp when she was younger and was fortunate enough to get a big accolade when she was 10 or 12 and we thought maybe she could fit in with this bunch.”
“The past three or four years, we’ve traveled around and played against good competition to see where she was. She compared favorably with the best in the nation. We couldn’t be happier.”
Now, Kadey can realistically see herself playing in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
“OU has played on the same field as I’ve played on. That’s what is crazy to me. I just want to go out there in that OU uniform and see what I can do out there. I’m going to have to work for it. For sure. But I’m excited and ready.”
But she remains all in on getting another pair of state softball trophies for her hometown of Caddo.
“The teams we have and are going to have know what we need to do. Have fun, compete and be ourselves. I’m just excited about my last year.”
When I asked her about her plans for life after softball.
Kadey thought about it.
“Perhaps sports management. I’m a lot like my dad. I will probably be a coach or something.”
Get more on Caddo softball: https://durantsportszone.com/2023/06/27/caddo-bruins-softball-team-spotlight-presented-by-shamrock-bank/?fbclid=IwAR3doLq4rJcGHeIOQEdLl1zmlht7MzUCNUAujBKecEHv5c3WOxefzRNtoGA