Solon junior Mallory Madsen has had it up to here with all the short comments.
“All the time,” Madsen said. “Sometimes it definitely does get to me. Nothing I can do about it but keep trying to prove myself on the softball field.”
The all-state shortstop continues to grow her reputation as one of the top hitters in the state. For her fantastic season, she was selected as the 2013 Press-Citizen Softball Hitter of the Year.
The 4-foot-11 Madsen hit .512 with 22 doubles, 62 runs scored and 38 RBIs.
She had a .536 on-base percentage and a .663 slugging percentage.
Despite her power, teams that haven’t scouted her still move their outfielders in when she hits.
“When people play her in, she hits it over them,” Solon coach Jim White said. “She’s done it every year.”
Madsen enjoys seeing the outfielders turn and run after her shots into the gaps.
“Very satisfying,” Madsen said. “I think some people are very stereotypical. You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
White, for his part, did not try to turn Madsen into a bunting specialist when the diminutive dynamo hit. .371 with 37 runs, 26 RBIs and six doubles as a freshman at Clear Creek Amana.
“I really liked her swing right away,” White said. “I let her prove as an eighth-grader what she can and can’t do.
“She could hit. She had a great swing.”
Like any good hitter, she learned how to bunt and slap and put those skills in her toolbox.
“When I played schools that know I’m a good hitter, if they were back, I’d go ahead and bunt,” Madsen said. “If they came in, I’d hit. It’s fun.”
The power came over time. She had six doubles as an eighth-grader, seven as a freshman, and 14 as a sophomore at CCA.
This year she hit 22 doubles.
“She’s a lot stronger than people realize,” White said.
“I’ve worked hard every year,” Madsen said. “But I don’t look at stats.”
A Coralville resident, she already had open enrolled to CCA in junior high, so the switch to Solon for her junior year wasn’t a major move.
“It was a tough decision,” Madsen said of following White to Solon. “On the field (in Oxford) felt like home. The people at CCA were super supportive and loved watching me play.
“I definitely missed that the first game at Solon. It was different for me.”
White said Madsen thrived academically at Solon.
“It was perfect for her,” White said. “I think she had her best semester ever.”
Madsen wanted to play softball, and play for White, and that fueled the move. She also wants to keep playing after high school as well.
“I’m hoping for a D-I offer,” Madsen said. “I’ve worked too hard; why not keep going?”
Madsen isn’t about to let anything hold her back. After all, she was intentionally walked for the first time this year.
“I’m pretty proud of that,” Madsen said.