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Gloucester City New Headlines for July 19 issue

McKenzie ‘Mac’ Yurcaba Emerges As Star Pitcher


Bellmawr Champions - Celebrating after winning the annual Runnemede Girls Softball Tournament with great defense, solid pitching and timely hitting are members of the Bellmawr 10U girl's All Stars. Pictured from back row left: Coaches Ken Yurcaba,Karen Tobey, Michele Legenski and Ed Legenski. Middle row: Madison Baldwin,Kaya Flynn, Paige Tobey, Daliah Legenski, Nayellie Ortiz and Amanda Magpiong.Bottom row: Danielle Campbell, Cara Forline. Kira Correll, Nicole Morsillo,Morgan Fries, Alexa Lee, McKenzie Yurcaba. Congratulations on a tremendous team effort. photo credit Anne Forline



By Anne Forline

Gloucester City News

(GCN July 12 isssue)Last year Bellmawr’s 10 and under McKenzie “Mac” Yurcaba was a wild and inconsistent softball pitcher.

Out of all the pitchers on the team, Yurcaba was probably the fourth best, said Coach Ed Legenski, Mac’s Bellmawr Girls coach the past two and a half years.

When she took the mound, Legenski expected her to walk in five runs an inning.

However, during the off-season, Yurcaba, of Brooklawn, underwent a transformation.

“Mac worked her tail off.  She went to a pitching coach and during the winter, she practiced pitching in all kinds of weather. She was bound and determined to improve,” Legenski said.

Although Mac worked hard, the transformation was not immediate.

Her father, Ken Yurcaba, took Mac to train with local pitching and hitting coaches, Fred Jimenez and Dawn Mader.

“It took about three games this Spring for everything to finally click for her,” Mac’s father said.

When it clicked, the results were remarkable.

At the end of the season, including playoffs, Mac posted a 19-1 record and batted .744. She also led the team in RBIs and only struck out twice.

As a softball player, Mac’s determination is intense.

“She doesn’t play like a girl. She competes like a boy,” Coach Legenski said.

Despite her talent and drive, Mac’s attitude remains in check. She is a team player through and through.

Her voice frequently leads dugout chants and she is quick to raise her hand to offer congratulatory high fives to her teammates.

It is obvious from watching Mac play that she loves the game of softball and excels at pitching. She hopes an academic scholarship is in her future.

“I’m trying hard to get a softball scholarship for high school and college,” McKenzie said.

That would not surprise her coach.

“I wouldn’t doubt it if I turned on ESPN in a few years and saw Mac playing Division 1 softball in the women’s college World Series,” Legenski said.

During the annual Runnemede Girls Softball Tournament, Bellmawr’s 10U girl’s All Star team – with great pitching from Mac – clinched the championship by posting a 2-0 win against Glendora.

  Prior to the championship battle, Bellmawr had defeated Glendora in an earlier game, 9-0. Bellmawr also beat Washington Township, 4-0.

  Coach Legenski said Bellmawr’s “bats were pretty good” during the tournament and noted that Bellmawr’s defense allowed no runs. During the championship game, the team made zero errors.

  Pitcher McKenzie “Mac” Yurcaba threw three shutouts, and was named one of the tournament’s MVPs.

  She shut down the opposition with 29 strike outs, 11 walks and no runs scored, Legenski said.


Three shutouts -- Brooklawn's McKenzie "Mac" Yurcaba pitches for Bellmawr's 10U team during the recent Runnemede Girls Softball Tournament. Bellmawr won the tournament and Yurcaba was named MVP, with three shutouts. A determined pitcher, Mac hopes for a high school and college scholarship. photo credit Anne Forline