The 2013 McAlester softball team came within a few outs of returning to the state tournament, and Dawkins had a strong fall season for the Lady Buffs, playing in all 38 games and batting .286 with eight doubles, 23 runs scored and 15 runs batted in. Six games into her basketball season, Dawkins is averaging 7.0 points per game.
“End of February, March, is when the playoffs and everything start,” Dawkins said. She added that she hopes that “when we get there, we’re prepared and playing our best.”
Ashley Banks, Dawkins’ older sister, also played softball and basketball for Savanna and McAlester, and Dawkins said the two have a very close relationship. But while Dawkins said she used to regularly attend Banks’ games, Banks, now a 28-year-old dentist in Coweta, graduated long before Dawkins could don her black and gold uniform.
Basketball, however, has allowed Dawkins to share her passion with a sibling playing the same sport at the same time. Baylee’s younger brother Todd, a sophomore, emerged as one of the Buffs’ starting guards late last season, and this season he’s been one of the boys’ best offensive weapons.
“Me and Todd are really close, and I really, really enjoy watching him play, because he enjoys it so much,” Dawkins said. “That’s just all he wants to do. We can’t keep him out of the gym.”
Though Dawkins clearly enjoys basketball enough to return to it year after year, she said softball remains her first love. Basketball season might eat up her winters, but the end of past years’ basketball seasons have always come with an immediate return to the Knockouts for the spring and summer.
Dawkins has in the past balanced travel softball commitments with serving as a baseball manager for McAlester — a position Banks once held as well. A Texas Rangers fan, Dawkins said she’s especially enjoyed watching Michael Young.