July 28, 2013
PDT Sports Writer
A consensus was reached among three head coaches — Notre Dame coach J.D. Whitman, Ohio Stingrays coach Mike Wiley and Shawnee State skipper Ralph Cole — when discussion came upon Titans rising senior Madi Phillips.
She’s very fast.
Not only is she fast on the basepaths, she wasted no time in deciding that she will play softball at SSU once she graduates. Phillips selected to stay close to home as she also had NCAA Division II University of Indianapolis on her radar before the Bears sparked interest.
“Her speed was probably her biggest factor,” Cole said. “She’s just a good, all-around softball player and I’ll actually be disappointed if she doesn’t impact Shawnee (State) from the word go. I’m not saying she will and there’s no guarantees, but at the end of the day I think she has potential to be able to do that.”
Phillips, who showcases her speed as a three-sport athlete, chose softball because of the fit.
“When I step on the field, I feel like I’m in my zone and I feel like it’s my passion,” Phillips said. “I just love to play it.”
Wiley, Phillips’ summer ball coach, has been mainly working with her on consistency at the plate. He does say she has a lot of tools to work with as a player.
“She gets a little high-strung but (we) try to calm her down,” Wiley said. “When she stands in there, she’s got a lot of power.”
Phillips will look to study dental hygiene. She said a habit has made the decision very simple.
“I just love teeth,” Phillips said. “I really do, I brush my teeth 10 times a day.”
But before she makes the transition to college, she will have to take more of a leadership role from the recent group of graduated seniors that won two SOC I titles in three years and reached back-to-back regional tournaments in 2011 and 2012.
With her ability to get from point A to point B in no time flat, Whitman feels Phillips will be able to take on more responsibility as the number three hitter in the lineup.
“She’s just one of those kids that goes 100 percent, there’s no in-between if you’re scrimmaging or if you’re practicing,” Whitman said. “She goes after a ball, she’ll run through a wall. She’ll dive, she’ll slide, she’ll do whatever it takes to catch the ball.”
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.