It’s rare to find Bradshaw Mountain High School softball player Madisen Duryea without a softball bat in her hand practicing the craft of crushing a pitch when she has some free time. Bradshaw Mountain Bears sophomore Madisen Duryea makes contact during a game against the Moon Valley Rockets on Thursday, March 15h, 2018 in Prescott Valley, Arizona. (Stock Photos by Torrence Dunham / Signals)
“I hit mostly every day, if it’s not in practice I will go home and hit it,” Duryea said. “Hitting is my passion and I love it.”
Her passion for hitting and relentless practice paid off for Duryea in her sophomore campaign with the Bradshaw Mountain High School Bears, as she slugged 20 balls over the fence in 2018. The total ranked Duryea second in Arizona and seventh nationally, according to MaxPreps.com
“I haven’t really made it too big or anything or bragged about it much,” Duryea said. “Just kept it kind of simple.”
In addition to her home run count, Duryea sported a remarkable .551 batting average and reached base at a .622 clip. Furthermore, Duryea knocked in 63 runs and scored 53 times during her 28 games played.
The totals are a vast improvement from an already impressive freshman campaign in 2017 where she hit .440 with six home runs and 25 RBIs.
“She’s had a breakout year and it’s good to see because she works hard at her craft,” Bradshaw Mountain High School softball Head Coach Sharon Haese said. “It just goes to show you when you work hard at something, you get better at it.”
“It’s really neat to see her being successful, she’s such a great kid,” Haese continued.
When Duryea steps into the box, her game plan is simple- see the ball, hit the ball.
“I just do the same thing every time, I have the same routine,” Duryea said. “I see the ball, (and) just go up there to hit it hard.”
Watching from the third base line, Haese witnesses an advanced hitter that utilizes every ounce of her body to muscle the ball.
“She uses her whole body, her upper body with her load, she uses her hips, she uses her legs,” Haese said. “She uses all of her power correctly and efficiently.”
Known not only locally but across the state as a dangerous hitter in the Bears’ lineup, Haese says Duryea will have to continue working hard as opposing teams adjust their approach to her.
“She’s on everybody’s radar,” Haese said. “Now, she has to make that adjustment.”
Even after slugging 20 home runs in 28 games, Haese is not holding lofty expectations for Duryea in her junior year because, after all, Duryea is still a high school student.
“I’m just really happy to see her be successful and just looking forward to her continued contributions,” Haese said.
Dureya and her teammates made the state playoffs in 2018, but fell to Casa Grande 11-5 on Saturday, April 28th, to officially end their season.
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