Competitive drive leads to All-American, Hall of Fame honors for Megan Sullivan
This is the third in a series featuring 2019 Broken Arrow Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
Within an hour time span Megan Sullivan received several calls from unfamiliar number. The next call, on that rainy day in late April, she nearly rejected. Then she noticed the name “Coach King” had popped onto the screen instead of some unknown 10-digit number.
“I thought, there’s only one or two reasons he could be calling me right now,” Sullivan said. “One could be the hall of fame and the other just some random thing because we hadn’t talked in a while.”
The call wasn’t random. The 2010 Tulsa World Softball Metro Player of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year was correct in her assessment of the purpose of the phone call. She was assured of her assumption from her high school coach’s first words.
“He has this thing with when he wants to tell us good news he’ll say ‘Is this so-and-so?’ And you’re like ‘yeah.’ And he’s like ‘well, I’ve got good news for you,’” Sullivan said. “He did that when I made all-state too, so I kind of already knew.”
Sullivan was a four-year starter for Randall King’s Broken Arrow Tigers softball teams from 2007 to 2010. She then earned All-American honors at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Lubbock Christian University.
“As far as shortstops go she is right up there with the best that we’ve had,” King said. “Her freshman and sophomore years she was a piece of the puzzle, but she basically carried us her junior and senior years.”
Following high school, in consecutive seasons, as a sophomore at NEO and a junior at Lubbock Christian, Sullivan was one of the best players in the country, earning All-American honors at both schools.
In 53 games during her second season at the Miami junior college, Sullivan finished with a .466 batting average, 16 home runs and 62 RBIs. She led the team in average, home runs, doubles, RBIs, on-base percentage, and runs scored and was named the Sooner Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
A year later, she led LCU to a third place finish in the NAIA World Series. She led the Chaparrals in hits (88), doubles (25) and RBIs (75). She led the NAIA in doubles and was tied for fifth in RBIs and sixth in hits while her 147 total bases was 10th.
“In high school, winning the state championships my freshman, junior and senior years were some of the greatest accomplishments I had back then,” Sullivan said. “If I were to separate them between high school and college and to say which was better, I would say they are completely equal. I can’t place them in an order because all of my accolades have been so important to me. In college, I didn’t win a national championship, but I won so many more things that kind of feel like I had won a national championship. I couldn’t rank them from least to greatest. They are all very special to me.”
While King certainly appreciated the numbers Sullivan contributed to his teams, and can rattle off her accomplishments as a player, it was her unwavering desire to win that left an everlasting impression on the BAHS softball coach.
“The way she played; she was very competitive, and that brought everybody’s play up as an older player,” he said. “In her younger years she stepped in as freshman and played shortstop for us, which doesn’t happen very often. Just the way she carried herself, she always wanted to win more than anybody on the field and that carried over to the other players.”
While starting as a freshman on a team loaded with seniors was “terrifying” and “intimidating,” Sullivan credits her high school and college teammates for inspiring her to be a better player.
“When you go up against these really good girls, you think ‘I’m not as good as they are but I’m going to try to be,’” she said. “It was really my teammates that were the biggest influences because of how hard they had me work. They made me want to work harder every day.”
Sullivan, who spent three years as a junior high and assistant varsity coach in Broken Arrow, now works as an elementary school special education paraprofessional in the Bixby school district. She discovered a passion for working with special needs children while working a camp in Lubbock during her college days.
“It’s very rewarding and fulfilling knowing that you are making a difference in their lives,” Sullivan said.
Though she would like to eventually get back into coaching, her softball time is currently spent serving as the Carl Smith Complex’s Women’s League Director and co-directs the complex’s tournaments with her fianceé Matt Zuniga.
“Right now, I enjoy the sport I love in a different way,” Sullivan said.
The 2019 Broken Arrow Athletic Hall of Fame Class will be inducted at Broken Arrow's opening home football game against Owasso on Sept. 13.