Despite her success and experience playing at the club level, even Maddy Colin couldn’t have predicted the amount of success she’d have to start her high school career as the Cougars’ starting pitcher.
The College Heights Christian standout put together one of the more memorable freshman campaigns ever seen in the program, which was the catalyst for the Cougars’ best season in school history.
“I have seen a lot of pitchers and the numbers she puts up is baffling,” College Heights coach Mike Howard said. “Her strikeout-to-walk number is mind blowing. I know she has been dominant over the course of the year, but to do it as a freshman says a lot about her, her work ethic and preparation.”
How dominant was Colin, who was recently named the Ozark 7 Softball Player of the Year? During the regular season, she finished with a 13-2 record, struck out 187 batters and walked just seven (one intentionally) and finished with a 1.03 ERA and a .136 opponents’ batting average against. Her strike percentage was 77 percent.
“I don’t really know what I expected,” Colin said about her first year. “I knew it was going to be fun and I was going to love the team, but I had no idea how good we would be. … After the first couple of games, I built a lot of trust with my defense behind me and I had a lot more confidence.”
“Her ability to locate pitches,” Howard said when asked what Colin’s biggest strength is in the circle. “If she walks somebody, it’s news because that never happens. And her poise as a freshman is impressive. To go out there against girls who are four years older than her and dominate them, her poise is a great attribute.”
Oh, and Colin also tossed two perfect games and two no-hitters. No big deal, right?
“For her to be able to stay poised and confident in the circle as a freshman, even against tough opponents, is incredible,” Howard said. “That is what I get from her every time she steps out there. She is just a fighter and a competitor. She is an animal.”
Colin is no slouch at the plate either. In fact, quite the opposite. She finished the season with a .375 BA/.434 OBP/.500 SLG slash line and had seven doubles, a triple and was second on the team in RBI with 21.
“She has really come on strong at the plate,” Howard said. “She sees the ball really well and is a patient hitter with her approach. … That is why she hits in the four hole. I have all the confidence in the world in her as a freshman to execute at the plate as well.”
The incredible regular performance by Colin propelled College Heights (with McAuley) to a 17-3 record, the best winning percentage in school history, as well as the program’s first Ozark Conference title.
“This year has been so fun,” Colin said. “Practices were always fun. No matter what we are doing, we’re always having fun. And of course, winning is fun, too.”
The Cougars’ run didn’t stop there, as third-seeded College Heights earned wins over Sarcoxie and El Dorado Springs before defeating top-seeded Mount Vernon in the Class 2 District 6 championship game to earn the team’s first ever district title, setting the all-time single season win record in the process.
College Heights’ magical season came to an end in the Class 2 quarterfinals, but Colin was just as dominant in her last game in the circle as her first. She was saddled with a six-inning complete-game loss, but allowed just one unearned run on six hits, no walks and nine strikeouts.
“She is putting up these astronomical numbers, but in her mind she feels like she can still get better each and every day,” Howard said. “She just continues to work at it and work at it. She is still going to pitching coaches and trying to work on some of her secondary pitches to get more comfortable with them. … She has really evolved into an ace as a high school pitcher.”
“She is so humble,” Howard added. “For as good as she is and as dominant as she is, she could be cocky and conceited. She is the exact opposite of that. She’d rather see her teammates succeed than her, that’s the type of person she is.”
Colin draws a lot of inspiration and work ethic from her older sister, Emmy Colin, a standout athlete in basketball and several other sports at College Heights who finished her career with 15 varsity letters before graduating with a commitment to Mid-America Christian University following the 2020 school year.
“I always loved watching her because she is great at what she does,” Maddy said of her older sister. “I learned a lot from her as she grew up in sports. She set expectations for how I should play and compete in high school.”
It is safe to say the sky’s the limit for the freshman hurler, and with her incredible work ethic and understanding of the game, reaching every goal she has set for herself in her high school career will absolutely be reachable.
“As a pitcher, I would like to get better at being consistent with my pitches,” Colin said of her goals as she continues her career in the circle. “I need to grow in the pitches I don’t throw very much. Just tweaking little things, hitting a spot when I am asked to and having the confidence knowing that I can do that.”