By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Kevin Wise noticed Madisen Oliver struggle as she made her debut on the McNary High School varsity softball as a freshman, but he never had any doubts.
“One of the things we always talked about with Maddie is that she was going to do great things with her attitude and work ethic,” said Wise.
One can guess that the coaches at Portland’s Concordia University must have noticed the same things. Oliver signed a letter of intent to play softball for the Cavaliers Friday, Nov. 13, at McNary.
In her three years in the Celtic program, Oliver has played all over the diamond – outfield, infield and pitching – but her presence at the plate is a cut above.
Last year, her batting average was .432 with 11 doubles, three triples and two home runs, a far cry from her .200 average her freshman year.
“That’s the kind of kid she is,” Wise said. “She takes the good and the bad and just keeps doing her thing. You know she is going to do whatever she can to help her teammates.”
Oliver said she was invited to a Concordia softball camp while making an appearance at a Portland State University camp last summer.
“I went and the coach was just great, and I really liked that the school has a strong education program because I want to be a teacher,” said Oliver.
Oliver is maintaining a 3.7 grade point average while taking honors and advanced courses in her senior year.
She is eyeing a spot at second base with the Cavaliers and said she’ll be putting most of her effort in her senior year preparing for an infield role.
“I’ll be working a lot on speed and lateral movement,” Oliver said.
She thanked her coaches, teammates, grandparents and parents during the ceremony, saying how much it meant to have them all there at her games.
“I’ve dreamed about (playing in college) since I was little and it’s nice to see all the hard work pay off,” Oliver said.
Wise said it was with both pride and remorse he’d watch Oliver move on to her future endeavors.
“I’m still excited for her senior season, but it’s sad to lose such a great kid,” Wise said.