The next time you are struck in traffic during your commute to work and get frustrated about wasted time on the road pause and think about Mackenzie Tucker Williams. The former Lipscomb softball player flies from Nashville to Atlanta and then hops on a jet for Seattle where her work day begins. She doesn't do it every day, but her life is literally up in the air quite a bit. Mackenzie was a star for the Lady Bisons in the 2010 NCAA Regional at Tuscaloosa with three hits in a win over UAB. She was in the stands at Draper Diamond earlier this month watching the Purple and Gold in action in the Atlantic Sun Tournament. Between games she talked with Lipscombsports.com.
What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?
"I started playing softball in the fall of 2007 and played through 2011. Kristin (Peck) Ryman was my head coach. Amber Wood and Lexi Myers were assistants my freshman year. Lexi and Kristin were my coaches all four years. Heather Collins was a graduate assistant my senior year."
What attracted you to Lipscomb from Puyallup, Wash. near Seattle?
"I was playing in tournaments all over the country. I was in a tournament in Colorado where coach Ryman first saw me play. I also played in a tournament in Kentucky. She contacted me. I didn't know where Lipscomb was. I had never heard of it.
"On the way to my recruiting visit I said to my mother that I probalbly won't go to Lipscomb. I had never really spent much time in the South. When I came to the campus I was kind of blown away. I liked the whole concept of the university with a small feel and big athletics. The girls on the team were really cool.
"Afterwards I went on a couple of more recruiting trips but I knew I was going to go to Lipscomb."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"My favorite athletic moment is the NCAA regionals my junior year (2010). That first game against UAB is the most fun I think I ever had playing softball and it is the best I ever performed. I went three-for-four with an RBI, a double and a run scored."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic at Lipscomb? How?
"I really looked to our seniors my freshman year - Heather Collins, Sara Simons, Kimberly Jacobson and Jennifer Allsup. They didn't treat us like freshmen. They treated us like we were on the same level with them.
"That taught me how to treat the players that came in after me. My senior year I wanted to make sure the freshmen viewed me the same way I had viewed the seniors my freshman year. I wanted to treat them with all the respect they deserved as my fellow teammates no matter what year they were.
"That has set the tone for my career and how I want to treat people and be treated."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at LIpscomb?
"The camaraderie and the friendships I made off the field spending down time together with the softball girls. We didn't have to spend time together, but we chose to do it.
"Those friendships that I made defined my college career. I still talk to them daily. If it wasn't for the girls it wouldn't have been worth it even with all of the success we had as a team."
Who was your favorite professoe? Why?
"Dr. Roy Hamley was one of my all-time favorite professors. He was my advisor as well.
"He was the one who helped me decide to major in psychology. I took him my freshman year for "Intro to Psychology". I loved the way he taught. He was really down to earth. He had strong moral values but he was accepting of others.
"He was challenging. He was always smiling. I loved he was challenging, but he was still very fun. He was an amazing, all-around general nice guy."
Where do you live now?
"I live in Nashville."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I am a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines. I have been working there for just under a year-and-a-half.
"I have a cousin who is a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines. I was planning on going to graduate school, but I decided I needed a little break. I love to travel.
"I love Nashville, but I love Seattle as well. It just felt like the perfect fit to have both cities in my life as well as seeing the country and the world.
"I fly from Nashville to Atlanta and Atlanta to Seattle. I usually fly there and back twice a month. I stay with my parents when I am in Seattle."
Tell us about your family.
"I am married to Charles Williams. He graduated in 2009. He was a pitcher for Lipscomb's baseball team from 2006-2009."
My email address is email@example.com.