by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Every prep athlete wants a good senior year to quit on. Madi Anderson has good chance to achieve that with the Rogers Royals softball team. One of the main reasons is Anderson herself, a fourth-year starter and all-conference the last two years.
“I’ve really been looking forward to this year,” said the talented, resolute infielder. “We’ve got all but one starter back. We’ve won our first three conference games. Last year was the best we’ve done in playoffs in my career, and we have a chance to go farther.”
Anderson has helped the Royals start the season 3-0, hitting .364 (4-for-11) with a homer and two doubles. She carries a .370 career batting average with three homers, 30 runs-batted-in, 36 stolen bases, 16 doubles and a .481 slugging percentage. She hit .385 with 13 RBI as a freshman, .303 with 16 runs as a sophomore and .417 with 19 runs and nine steals as a junior.
The 5-foot-5 right-hander has also been the team’s infield leader all along, at shortstop three years before her coach switched her to second base this year, figuring more grounders will go to that side due to Rogers’ hard-throwing pitchers, Kathleen Kemmetmueller and Melea Bruns. Those two alternate at shortstop when not pitching.
Jerry Bruns lauds Anderson, a team captain for two years, as a player with all the tools.
“She’s got the arm, the glove and the bat. She’s a real good athlete and a heckuva leader,” said the Royals coach. “There isn’t a job she won’t do well.”
Personality traits elevate her game even further.
“Madi is a perfectionist. She’s a hard worker. With Madi, there is no sloppy way of doing things. In school she’s a 4.0 student, and she’s the same way in softball as she is in class.”
“That’s true. I like things done right,” Anderson acknowledged, adding that honing her swing is her most constant quest in softball.
Rogers High School gave Anderson its Athena Award even though she’s strong in only one sport. Her academics were also a factor. The Athena program honors the top girl senior athletes from the metro area. The banquet is set for May 2. Anderson’s other sport is Nordic skiing, which she took up the last two years “just to keep in shape for softball; it’s really good exercise.”
Anderson said mother, Stephanie, who played for Robbinsdale Cooper, “got me started when I was really little, in T-ball.” Anderson has thrived on softball ever since, along with her lone sibling, Elli, the Royals sophomore third baseman.
At Winona State, she’ll be focusing on becoming a nurse. “That’s what I’ve always wanted to so, something medical,” said Anderson, adding that she enjoyed playing doctor as a child and lists “House” as her favorite TV show and anatomy as her favorite class.
After playing softball for as long as she can remember, year-round the last few years, she finds it “really weird” to be entering her final year. “I remember eighth grade, on JV, thinking, I’ll be playing such a long time, but here it is, almost done!” No doubt, she’ll do all she can to make her last season a memorable one.
THE ANDERSON SCORECARD
Personal file — Age: 17 … Family: parents John and Stephanie; sister Elli … Sports: softball, Nordic ski … Other activities: National Honor Society, Royal Connections (mentoring) … Academics: 4.0 GPA … College plans: Winona State, nursing
Favorite stuff — Class: college anatomy, math … TV show: “House” … Movie: “Bridesmaids” … Reading: “Seventeen” magazine, “Divergent” series … Foot: Potbelly’s subs … Drink: chocolate milk … Teams: Twins, Wild … Wants to visit: Greece