Rhoads pitches with a mission

Published 9:15 pm Saturday, June 10, 2017

Madie Rhoads was voted Suffolk News-Herald/Duke Automotive Player of The Week after throwing a one-hitter against Menchville High School to help the Lady Warriors to a state tournament bid.

Nansemond River High School’s softball team has been very successful this year. It has been a group effort all season long, and the girls have accomplished a bit of the impossible. Senior Madie Rhoads has been a big part of the success.

In the 5A South semifinals matchup last week, the Lady Warriors took on Menchville. Rhoads pitched one of her best games of the season, throwing a one-hitter, which led to the Lady Warriors shutting out the Lady Monarchs and advancing the regional finals, while also clinching a bid to the state tournament.

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Friends, family and the Nansemond River community took notice of the impressive performance, which helped lead to her Player of The Week accolades.

“This feels great,” she said. “It’s an awesome feeling knowing I have so much support from my family and my community.”

Rhoads felt she played very well in the matchup against Menchville. She knew the significance of pitching a one-hitter. However, what was most important to her was her teammate helping her out in her effort.

The one hit that Menchville had came on a controversial play. One of Rhoads’ teammates dove the catch the hit, but the umpire ruled that the ball touched the ground. Some disagreed with the call, which cost Rhoads a no-hitter.

Rhoads’ senior season has been one to remember. She was a unanimous first-team All PenSouth player. She was also the Player of The Year in the conference, which came as a surprise to her.

“This season has been so much fun,” she said. “I love my teammates and coaches so much. We are a family. As far as being the Player of The Year, it is exciting. I didn’t expect it, but it’s an accomplishment I’m glad I received.”

Rhoads had been motivated all year by the doubt she felt her team faced. Because no one expected Nansemond River to be this good this year, that motivated her and her teammates.

“We wanted to show everyone what we were made of,” she said. “It is so exciting and amazing what we’ve done this year. We’ve worked so hard to get to where we are.”

Her parents inspire Rhoads in more ways than she can count. They always want her to be the best she can be, no matter where she is. For her last year, Rhoads’ goal was to come in and do the best she could in the circle.

She wanted to make sure she and her team let everyone know that Nansemond River still had a lot of talent on the team.

In the next chapter of her life, Rhoads will attend Randolph-Macon College. She will likely double-major in communications or international studies. She wants to step in and carve out a role as a freshman immediately.