Two Allan Hancock College softball players, who helped the Bulldogs win 49 games and a conference championship over the last two seasons, celebrated their biggest accomplishments yet together during a signing ceremony Wednesday in front of friends, family, coaches and teammates. Infielder Nakalia Fuggs earned a partial-scholarship to play Division I softball for California State University, Bakersfield. Pitcher Bailey Killough, a two-time All-State pick, received a full-ride scholarship to Rogers State University, a Division II program coming off its finest season in program history.
"This is a dream come true," said Killough, who earned an associate degree in liberal arts this spring from Hancock. "I immediately fell in love with Rogers State. The facilities are amazing. The softball team has its own locker room and I'll have my own locker with a name plate on it. I can't wait."
Fuggs said she started dreaming about playing Division I softball when she was a little girl. After suffering a few setbacks over the years, Fuggs is grateful for the opportunity to transfer to CSU Bakersfield and the lessons she learned along the way.
"The last few years were a little rocky on and off the field, but I am grateful for all of the support I received from my coaches, friends and family to get me to this point," said Fuggs, who earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Hancock. "It is reassuring to know I can overcome anything and persevere. I am proud of the woman I have become. I am using my struggles as motivation to never give up, never stop working hard and never take anything for granted."
This spring, Fuggs led the Bulldogs with 20 stolen bases to go with 35 runs scored, seven doubles, three triples and 23 RBI. During her freshman season, Fuggs earned all-conference honors after she led the Bulldogs with 27 walks and 28 stolen bases. She hit .343 with 39 runs, four triples and 15 RBI. Over two seasons with Hancock, Fuggs compiled a career.280 batting average, 74 runs scored, 38 RBI and 48 stolen bases.
Fuggs joins a CSU Bakersfield program that is coming off a 6-38 season. The Roadrunners compete at the NCAA Division I level in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). They are guided by eighth-year Head Coach Crissy Buck-Ziegler, who led the Roadrunners to their first WAC Tournament championship and NCAA Division I Regionals appearance in 2016.
"We played Bakersfield last year during fall ball, and I caught their eyes then with my speed, defensive abilities and versatility," said Fuggs, who plans to major in liberal studies with an emphasis in criminal justice. "They see me stepping in at either second base or the outfield."
Killough, the 2018 Western State Conference Player of the Year, joins a program at Rogers State University that is coming off a historic season. Located in Claremore, Oklahoma, Rogers State softball made its first appearance in an NCAA Division II Regional this spring. The Hillcats captured their first Heartland Conference title and won 39 games, the program's highest single-season win total since joining NCAA Division II in 2014. Rogers State Head Coach Andrea Vaughan was named the Heartland Conference's 2018 Coach of the Year and the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year by Hero Sports.
"I am thrilled to go into an environment where all of the girls are invested in and dedicated to softball. They are committed to winning on and off the field, and I am honored to be a part of it," said Killough.
Killough was one of 18 women from the Southern Regionnamed to the 2018 California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association's (3CFCA) 2018 All-State Team. The sophomore ranked sixth in the conference with a .430 batting average and second with eight home runs. She ranked seventh in the state and led the conference with 52 RBI. Her single-season RBI total ranks No. 4 all-time in program history. The Arroyo Grande High School graduate also went 11-5 in the circle with 86 strikeouts and a 2.70 ERA over 103 2/3 innings.
As a freshman, Killough received the 2017 WSC Pitcher of the Year award and earned a spot on the All-State Team after leading the Bulldogs to a share of the conference title. She went 17-8 in the circle with a 1.75 ERA and 96 strikeouts over 160 1/3 innings. At the plate, she hit .333 with two home runs and 31 RBI. Over two seasons with the Bulldogs, Killough finished her career at the plate with a .384 batting average, 10 home runs and 83 RBI. In the circle, she went 28-13 with 182 strikeouts and 2.12 ERA over 264 innings.
Killough, who spent one semester at Hawaii Pacific after graduating from Arroyo Grande High School before returning home, said attending Hancock was a great decision.
"Playing for Hancock allowed me and my game to mature. I was able to work out the little kinks to take my game to the next level," said Killough.
She plans to major in criminal justice and minor in cyber investigation at Roger State.