“I love the fact that if you are in a battle or in a foxhole, you want Amanda Ingram on your side. She is a warrior in so many areas.” – Oklahoma City University Stars softball team head coach Phil McSpadden
Second baseman helps win national championship, looks to defend title
OKLAHOMA CITY — Graduating senior Amanda Ingram is a perfect example of chasing your dreams no matter how long it takes.
Ingram (Muscogee/Chickasaw), 27, started playing softball late collegiately, but never let that bother her.
She graduated from high school in 2008 and she had interest in going to the next level and playing either softball or basketball.
“I had offers from both sports but I was going to only play one in college,” Ingram said.
She was delayed during her final year at Westmoore High School.
“I got pregnant in my senior year of high school,” Ingram said. “I finished there and after graduation I started working.”
Ingram decided to wait until her daughter was older before she decided on what to do when it came to college.
“When she was in Pre-K is when I decided to come to Oklahoma City University,” Ingram said.
Ingram said she wanted to go to college so she could provide a better life for her and her daughter and she did not think of playing sports at first.
“I didn’t know I still had eligibility to play since I was so much older,” Ingram said. “I planned on only going to school.”
She heard that if she had not used her eligibility she could still play.
At first, Ingram had to get back into the groove of things when it came to school. She had to remind herself how to juggle being a mother and student-athlete.
“Most kids come straight from high school so they know how to handle everything,” Ingram said. “It took me a little bit.”
She said it also took some time to get ready for college softball.
“It was a little bit tough in the conditioning part, but the whole time I was working before I came back to school, I was playing recreational softball,” Ingram said.
She said that OCU was the first place she emailed about playing softball. She knew how good the team was.
“I just knew it was a great program and it is a great school,” Ingram said. “They contacted me back and it has been great since.”
She has played second base throughout her career, as well as in the outfield. Her awards include: Sooner Athletic Conference Golden Glove awarded for the 2014 season, Jim Wade Award for this season and 2017 All-Conference Softball Team – 2nd Team.
OCU Stars Softball Head Coach for OCU Stars, Phil McSpadden spoke about his second baseman.
“All the years she has been here, I have always said she is the best athlete we had,” McSpadden said. “There are so many things she is naturally gifted with.”
He said that you could put her into any sport and she would do well. She had to refine some skills in softball to help her throughout her four years.
“I love the fact that if you are in a battle or in a foxhole, you want Amanda Ingram on your side,” McSpadden said. “She is a warrior in so many areas.”
McSpadden admires Ingram because of the hurdles she had to overcome during her four years at OCU.
“It hasn’t been an easy road for her,” McSpadden said. “Being here is going to benefit her in the long run.”
Ingram graduated with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology and human performance.
“I’ve always wanted to work with people,” Ingram said. “Athletic training is what I am interested in. I want to be around athletes and help them.”
Ingram had advice for young mothers in a similar situation as her.
“Don’t give up, you have to keep on pushing yourself for your family,” Ingram said. “Your family is always first and God made it all possible for me.”
She never thought she was going to play again but she knew she was going to get a better education.
“When I found out I could play the sport that I loved and get my schooling paid for it was worth it,” Ingram said. “I get my degree and get to better our lives.”
As of publication, the NAIA defending national champions began their march to another title May 15 in the OKC bracket of the NAIA Championship opening round.