Century’s Madi Grad is having a sensational year. However, she is not just leading this team at the plate, she is also leading from behind the plate.
Century catcher Madi Grad took over the leadoff spot this year and the results have been amazing.
“I’ve got time to time up the pitcher,” Grad said, “but I don’t have time to think about it. So I just had to go right in. I have to get ready really quick and then time them and then I’m just thrown right in.”
While the long ball is in her repertoire, she is not trying to hit home runs.
“I just kind of think base hit every time that I go up to bat,” Grad said. “I’ve been working on all kinds of pitches so that just helps me out a lot. Just get my barrel to the ball.”
This past summer, Madi learned a lot playing with the North Dakota Elite summer softball team.
“We do like six or eight tournaments,” Grad said, “which is a lot. I catch every game.”
During that summer, Madi — not her coach — called the pitches.
“I look at how the batter stands and how they hold their hands and then I watch their practice swings to see where their hands go and their bat path,” Grad said.
And now Madi is one of the few catchers with that honor during the high school season.
“[Kevin Ziegler] talked to my summer coach and that sealed the deal for him,” Grad said. “I talked to him about it and I was like, ‘I know what to do.'”
So Madi Grad hits leadoff, catchers and calls pitches. That is a lot of responsibility.
“Sometimes pitchers don’t hit their spots,” Grad said. “Sometimes, I just call a bad pitch when I think it’s going to work and it doesn’t. It’s happened twice this year.”
Madi and the Patriots close out their conference schedule at home against Watford City.