How Nikki McGaffin became one of Fossil’s highly touted prospects


Dylan Heinrich

Nikki McGaffin led the Fossil softball team for four years

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Writer

Fossil fell short of a second consecutive state title finishing in the semifinals, but there was a silver lining, as Nikki McGaffin was named the 5A softball player of the year for the second year in a row.

McGaffin lit up the field for four years, throwing for 800 strikeouts, winning the AP Softball player of the year, two-time Colorado Softball Player of the Year, and leading Fossil Ridge to a state championship. These are just a few of the many accomplishments for McGaffin, one of the most decorated athletes ever in Fossil history.

“It is a God-given talent…but I definitely work really hard, and I practice…I definitely wouldn’t be here without my teammates,” McGaffin said.

McGaffin is not only the best player on the team, but a true leader as well. She often gives her teammates words of encouragement and helps the excitement flowing in the dugout.

“Obviously the numbers and stats speak for themselves, but being a pitcher you have a lot of people look up to you and especially when you win a couple awards, it makes people agree and want to learn from you…” McGaffin said.

McGaffin flourished as a pitcher, throwing for over 800 strikeouts, 74 wins, and a 1.88 ERA

McGaffin has been a four-year starter at Fossil as a pitcher, despite the pitcher being one of the most difficult positions to play. However McGaffin enjoys the heightened difficulty and her prominent role on the field.

“My favorite part about pitching honestly is being able to have the ball the entire time…having control of what happens during the game. I love mastering different pitches and using them together to strike people out,” McGaffin said.

McGaffin’s talent has not gone unnoticed, as she has been recruited and signed to play softball at Arkansas next year, which has one of the best softball programs in the country. 

“The recruiting process started when I was like twelve years old, and it’s been up and down ever since…[going to Arkansas] it’s always something I’ve dreamed of, and it just puts a label on how good I’ve played…I think it’s really cool to represent Colorado in the SEC and to represent Fossil Ridge,” McGaffin said.

Nikki McGaffin has already signed with Arkansas, a prestigious university with a storied history

Even though McGaffin has finished her softball career at Fossil, she will have many fond memories to look back on. The most memorable moment being last year’s state championship.

“My favorite moment was definitely winning the state championship. The year before we lost in the championship game which was devastating, and it took a toll on us. But being able to come back and fight through Covid to win state was really memorable,” McGaffin said.

Nikki McGaffin will continue her softball career as a member of the Arkansas Razorbacks next year, representing Fossil Ridge at the next level.