Missouri Southern State University Lady Lions Junior Star Mikaela Cox
Parents: Louis & Norma Cox
Sibling: Dehric Cox (18)
Favorite Subject: English
Favorite Food: Macaroni & Cheese
Favorite Sports Movie: A League of Their Own
Favorite Professional Athlete: Patrick Mahomes
Quotable: “My greatest memory of my collegiate career in softball would be my freshman year. After having a rough season, as a team, we were able to turn things around and make it to the conference tournament.”
Cox Continues Gaining Confidence on Missouri Southern Softball Squad
Although Missouri Southern State University Lady Lions first-year softball Head Coach Hallie Blackney has only been with this program for eight months, she’s seen enough of junior pitcher Mikaela Cox thus far to know the former Joplin Lady Eagles star is gaining much more self-assurance in her capabilities.
“I can say that since my arrival in August, I’ve noticed her mental game/confidence has improved,” Coach Blackney says. “Self-belief can carry a student-athlete very far.”
When she first stepped foot on the MSSU campus three years ago after a stellar career for Head Coach Kirk Harryman’s Lady Eagles, where she earned 1st Team All-Ozark Conference honors three straight years and was a three-time Ozark Conference Pitcher of the Year, Cox found it to be a tough transition from high school to college.
Cox admits, “Starting over and fighting for a spot on the team was the most challenging thing.”
Cox concurs with Coach Blackney in reflecting on being sure of herself. “I have improved a lot on having confidence in every one of my pitches. Having supporting teammates and coaches has been the key to this improvement.”
As for her skillset specific to pitching, Cox believes her greatest strengths are “having a lot of spin (on the ball) and working the corners of the plate.”
Cox stresses it’s a challenge “having to be dialed in every single pitch and knowing what each hitter can do and try my best to find their weaknesses.”
Coach Blackney agrees. “Mikaela is an efficient spinner. She mixes speeds well and we can count on her to throw strikes.”
Regardless of her personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as any individual or team successes that take place, Cox affirms simply getting to play softball, as she has done for 11 years, is rewarding because “I enjoy getting to do what I love and am good at and creating lifelong friends along the way.”
Considering how passionate Cox is about playing this sport, it’s understandable Coach Blackney recognized right away upon her arrival at MSSU in August, “Mikaela has been a hard worker and trusted teammate. She consistently shows up to practice with a solid work ethic and is always working hard in the weight room.
“Mikaela shows up to practice, games, weight sessions, conditioning, mental training meetings, community service projects and everything else we do with a positive perspective. She works hard in the classroom and always pushes herself to be the best she can be, on and off the field.”
Coach Blackney says as Cox goes through her remaining two years with the Lady Lions, “I expect Mikaela to continue to be a great teammate, to work hard on and off the field and when she graduates, to leave this program better than she found it her freshman year.”
Cox appears well on her way to doing just that at MSSU.