Rhoads steps up in first year

Published 10:25 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

Former Lady Warrior Madie Rhoads has been standing out for Randolph-Macon College.

The softball team is currently 31-3 and has been making statements all season. The team may have made the biggest one recently by defeating the NCAA Division-III champions, Virginia Wesleyan University, which was ranked No. 1 in the country at the time.

Rhoads, a freshman on the team, has had a pretty seamless transition so far for RMC. She pitched in the win and struck out nine batters. VWU hosted the game, so Rhoads was able to play in front of friends and family.

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“I didn’t think of the game as anything other than pitching to another team,” Rhoads said. “It was exciting to be able to help my team especially in front of my friends and family.”

About a year ago, Rhoads signed her National Letter of Intent to play at RMC and has since stepped in and made an impact. She has appeared in 15 games so far this season and has started in 10 of them at pitcher. She has a pitching record of 10-0. She has 100 strikeouts on the season, which is second on the team, and an ERA of 0.63.

Rhoads gives credit to her catcher, Sami Davidson, for calling the right pitches at the right time for her to be successful.

“I think going in with a strong mindset really helps me pitch well,” she said. “A former coach of mine told me always to have confidence, so I go by that motto every game, as well as my teammates and my coaches pushing me to be my best.”

After initially being intimidated, Rhoads felt her transition to the college level has been smooth. Of course, there have been a few rough patches, but Rhoads has learned quickly and has put mistakes behind her.

A goal of hers for this season is to win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. RMC was ranked fourth in this week’s National Fastpitch Coaches Poll Coaches Association Division III poll before knocking off Virginia Wesleyan.

“The season has gone really well so far,” she said. “Hopefully it will continue to be that, because we have a lot of games left.”

At Nansemond River, Rhoads helped the team to the Class 5 state semifinal game last season and had also helped them to four conference championship games. She was the Conference Player of the Year last year and has been selected All-Conference, All-Region and All-State.