It may not seem like the time of year to celebrate softball achievements unless you’re Enterprise High School stand-out Madison Plew. She had cause to celebrate the sport on the brink of winter Nov. 10.
The EHS senior signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Jamestown in southeastern North Dakota on a softball scholarship.
Nearly 40 well-wishers, including teammates, former coaches and friends gathered in the school cafeteria to celebrate the event. Plew, a pitcher and third-baseman, is the first Outlaw to receive a softball scholarship in four years.
EHS athletic director Larry Wells congratulated Plew on being one of the few from the school to sign a letter of intent. He also said he knew of no one more deserving than Plew.
Former coach Jeff Edison said he looked up the word “exceptionalism” in the dictionary and noted the definition, “a condition of being different from the norm.”
“You are not normal,” Edison said to Plew, “But you are exceptional.”
Plew followed, saying she couldn’t believe the day had arrived. She said she had dreamed of being a softball player before she knew what it meant or what it would take.
Plew’s journey was an example that dreams come true if you’re willing to work for them, and if you have the support of those around you.
She said that she was the only player in tee-ball who struck out at the tee –– even after being given two extra swings. Her first year in Little League saw Plew’s father, Andy Plew, coaching her team -- one that had no pitchers.
His daughter was the only person he had time to work with, so they bought a book on the subject and the two watched hours of college softball to learn.
“Thank you for watching hours and hours of softball and always pushing me to better myself,” Plew said to her father. She also thanked her mother and brother for their contributions to her success.
She also paid tribute to Edison, other coaches and her teammates.
After the signing ceremony, which took place at a table decorated with the colors orange and black, the colors of her future school, Plew posed for photos and took time to thank those who attended.
When asked how much she actually played softball in North Dakota, Plew didn’t hesitate.
“I play softball nine months out of the year,” she said. “Games run from the beginning of high school until the end of summer. I’ll start practicing in a couple of weeks.”
She added the longest time she’s spent away from the game in the last four years is about a month.
She is active with several teams from Boise to Pendleton and also plays pickup ball for teams from as far away as Portland. Jamestown did not recruit Plew for pitching, she said she will play mostly third-base and some outfield.
Plew, a scholar and athlete who sports a 3.72 GPA, said she plans to study hard and has chosen to major in exercise science and minor in sports psychology. She said it can be difficult to balance the two pursuits.
“It takes a lot of work,” Plew said. “But if you know yourself as a student and how much time you need to study helps. Being a student and athlete is really important to me, and student comes first.”
Even with her school a 18-hour drive from her home, Plew doesn’t plan to forget where she came from.
“I couldn’t do any of this without everyone here,” she said. “I’m really thankful.”