St. Peter softball team won’t be the same without pitcher/third baseman Mackenzie Brey, who’s capping off her high school career by playing in the 2019 Minnesota High School Softball All Star Series sponsored by the Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches Association and the Minnesota Twins.
The All Star Series takes place on Sunday, June 9 at Caswell Park in North Mankato. Player introductions are at 3 p.m. First round games begin at 3:30 p.m. Second round games are at 5 p.m.
Twenty-two senior players from each Class (A, AA, AAA, AAAA), 88 seniors in total, are selected for this honor. Players are first nominated by their high school coach with their high school softball career statistics. Nominated players are then voted on by members of the Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches Association. 2019 is the 31st year of the event.
Brey, who was also chosen All-State Honorable Mention, “has been such an integral piece to our success over the past five years,” St. Peter coach Heidi Niemeyer said. “During those five years we were either runner-up in Section 2AA or the Section 2AA Champs, with the biggest success coming during last years State Tournament, finishing in 2nd place.”
Brey, daughter of Butch and Nancy Brey, has surpassed her season strikeout record three years in a row, with this year being her best by far at 147 strikeouts. She also finished her career with three perfect games, two of them happening in her final season as a Saint.
Brey finished her five-year career with 58 wins. This season she went 13-5 in leading the Saints to section runner-up. She had a 1.64 ERA with just 29 walks in 106.2 innings pitched. She also had a .927 fielding percentage.
“Not only was Mack a threat in the circle but her hitting was always impactful, especially during her last three years hitting over .360 in each of these years,” Niemeyer said.
The clean-up hitter, Brey batted .394 this season with a .400 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage. She had one home run, nine doubles and 18 RBIs this season.
Niemeyer and Brey have together since she joined the varsity team as an eighth-grader during Niemeyer’s second season as head coach.
“I really don’t know what is like not to have Mack on my team,” Niemeyer said. “She has grown so much in these past five years. She has figured out what is really important in life, how to lead her teammates, and how to take the outcome of the game (both wins and loses) and make herself better.”
Brey and Niemeyer have learned from each other.
“I can say that I have also learned a lot from Mackenzie,” Niemeyer said. “We pretty much grew up on this varsity field together, her as a player, and me as a head coach.”
A one-sport athlete, Brey has won numerous softball honors: five-time letter winner, four-time all-conference, one-time honorable mention all-conference, four-time all-section, one-time state all-tournament team and two-time Honorable Mention All-State
She is continuing her softball career at Gustavus Adolphus College.
“There are many things that I will miss about Mackenzie as she ventures off to play for Gustavus,” Niemeyer said. “A few of those things are that she LOVES to be in the circle or at bat when the game is on the line.
“She works hard in the classroom, during practice, and for her teammates. She is passionate about softball, her family, her friends and teammates. She goes at everything she does with 100 percent. She is absolutely a leader who loves her team and who loves to win.
“She will be truly missed. I am grateful for what she has brought to this program and how she has led with confidence and passion.”