April is Girls Sports Month, and as part of USA TODAY High School Sports’ fourth-annual Girls Sports Month celebration, we’re speaking with some of the most influential female athletes, coaches and celebrities in the sports world. We will also be highlighting some of the best stories from the past year as well as featuring some of the trailblazers.
Madison McCoy knows all good things must come to an end, and the senior second baseman for the nationally ranked Male High School softball team is ready to move on.
Just give her a couple of more months.
Several in-state programs have inquired about McCoy playing for them in college, but McCoy is ready to drop the latter portion of “student-athlete” next school year.
“I’m ready to be a regular student. After May, I’m saying goodbye to softball,” McCoy said Wednesday following Male’s 12-1 win at Seventh Region rival Assumption as the Bulldogs moved to 15-0. “I want to major in something that’s a little bit difficult and I didn’t want it to be overwhelming.”
McCoy is slated to enroll at the University of Kentucky.
“She is the epitome of what you want a senior leader to be, and she could play at the next level if she wanted,” said Male coach Josh Bloomer. “She’s mature enough to realize, ‘You know, I just really love playing the game, but I don’t really want to go to the next level and have to work and wake up in the morning and do all that.'”
Both Bloomer and McCoy herself noted that her personal and family life hasn’t been as easy as other players.
“She’s kind of wise beyond her years,” Bloomer said. “She’s overcome a lot.”
Softball provides a welcomed escape, and McCoy uses her role as a captain, veteran and lone senior to make sure that life — not just softball — is not overwhelming for her softball family.
“I always want to come in with good energy for the girls. I don’t want them to come to me to know what to look for in practice, but I want to be there for them no matter what, regardless of softball,” McCoy said. “I don’t want to be the person they look up to, softball-wise. I want them to come to me for anything, no matter what it is.”
No matter what it is on the field or at the plate, Bloomer said McCoy is the type of player who can always deliver. Entering April 19, she was batting .447 in 47 at-bats with a team-leading 42 at-bats out of the two hole. She had two triples, five doubles, 20 runs and 21 hits.
McCoy began her Male career at second base. She switched to shortstop briefly, moved to center field and then back to second last season.
“She’s been absolutely awesome there,” Bloomer said of McCoy, who has a .969 fielding percentage as of Saturday. “She provides us with a stability in the infield and she might be the most positive kid you’ve ever been around. She’s a real resilient kid and she’s a smart kid.”
Many of the standouts from Male’s star-studded junior class were in the program in middle school while McCoy was in the eighth grade. Having been around many of her teammates for so long, McCoy doesn’t believe she needs to try to shoulder all of the leadership.
“I don’t get lonely because I don’t feel like all the other players are under me. I feel that they have the same leadership that I give,” McCoy said. “It’s not like they all look up to me or to one person for that leadership. Most of the juniors can step up and give the same leadership that I do.”
McCoy’s senior day is scheduled for May 18 against reigning state tournament champion Scott County. While it will bittersweet for Bloomer to witness McCoy’s last at-bats at home, Bloomer said McCoy deserves to have the spotlight to herself.
“I’m looking forward to senior night this year,” Bloomer said “She gets to sit out there and be the lone wolf that gets all the recognition and honor that she deserves.”