Leesburg, Va. — Riverside High School senior utility player Makayla Gallagher has committed to continue her academic and athletic careers at Florida International University starting in the 2020-2021 school year.
“I have been playing this game for almost twelve years, and playing at the college level has always been a dream of mine,” Gallagher said. “I’m extremely happy to see all my hard work pay off.”
In the 2019 season, the FIU softball team went 26-25 overall and 7-16 in Conference USA. When she joins the Division I Panthers, Gallagher hopes to bring versatility to the field and play anywhere that the coaches put her.
“I have been interested in FIU for a while, but when I went to visit the campus, I knew 100% it was where I wanted to go,” Gallagher said. “It has everything I’m looking for in a college; it offers what I am looking for academically, big sports, and a big student population.”
FIU has recently announced Chris Steiner-Wilcoxson as the new softball head coach as of August 2019. Steiner-Wilcoxson previously served as the head coach at Alabama State for five years and has won nearly 500 games in her past 13 years a head coach.
Before Gallagher continues her career with the Panthers, she still has one more season left as a Ram. Gallagher helped lead the Rams to their 20-5 record in the 2019 season. Riverside also holds the title of the 2019 Dulles District Regular Season and Tournament Champions.
“We’re all like a family; we fall together and rise together,” said Gallagher, who plays travel ball for the Ashburn Shooting Stars. “These girls have taught me so much and helped form my high school self.”
Gallagher pulls motivation for her softball career from her parents, who both played softball and baseball growing up.
“My mom played for many years until high school, and my dad played professional baseball, so as soon as I could stand, I had a bat in my hand,” Gallagher said. “They are always in my corner.”