Brea Dickey’s final college softball season was going splendidly.
The former Collins Hill standout ranked among the top hitters in the Atlantic Sun Conference, and her Kennesaw State team was 21-4, fresh off four wins in five games at the Colorado State Classic. Her season suffered the same fate as all in college athletics when it ended because of the coronavirus in March, just before the Owls were scheduled for a three-game series March 14-15 at Florida Gulf Coast.
Her final game was a beauty, too. She went 4-for-4 and scored two runs in a victory over Idaho State. The previous day she had gone 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs in a victory over Colorado State.
“It was kind of shocking to say the least,” Dickey said of the abrupt ending. “It was so sudden. We were on such a good roll. We had such good things going. We were doing so well and we were so excited for conference to see where we would go in the conference and in the postseason.”
The NCAA Division I Council voted to allow senior athletes in spring sports an extra year of eligibility, so the 2020 season may not be Dickey’s last. Or it may be. It isn’t clear which schools will accept those athletes — some have publicly said they won’t — and if so, how things will work out financially.
“I want to (play one more season),” Dickey said last month. “I’m going to try to. We’ll see how it works.”
Dickey was in the middle of the best season of her college career, which began with the Georgia Bulldogs. She played at UGA in 2016 and 2017, hitting .295 with 22 runs scored and nine RBIs as a sophomore.
She did not play in the 2018 season, returning in 2019 at Kennesaw State to hit .286 with 16 RBIs and 20 runs scored. She went 22 of 24 on stolen bases.
Through 25 games this season, Dickey hit .443 with five doubles, four triples, 15 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and 23 runs scored. She ranked second in the Atlantic Sun in runs, third in batting average and sixth in stolen bases.
“Brea has been an absolute joy to coach and have on our team,” Kennesaw State head coach Tripp MacKay said. “Her journey through the last couple of years to get to this point I think makes her even more special. She is the model of an excellent student-athlete. She has been stellar in the classroom and has been tearing it up on the field this year. She was voted by her peers to be a team captain and is a positive leader for us. She’s an outstanding person and comes from a supportive family. I have really enjoyed watching her develop as a great student-athlete and a wonderful young lady.”
Dickey plans a career in education after college — she will complete her student-teaching this fall in Gwinnett — and finishes her final classes this semester. She is back at home now and finishing courses online, like other college students forced off campus by the coronavirus.
It isn’t the way she wanted to finish her last semester at Kennesaw State, a school and softball program that suited her perfectly.
“It’s very family oriented (at Kennesaw),” Dickey said. “It’s a very good environment. It’s so positive there. Your teammates, your coaches, everyone’s looking out for you. They want you to develop into a good person, not just a softball player. That’s what it’s all about at Kennesaw.”