Ever since earning the starting shortstop job as a freshman two years ago, Bridgewater-Raynham’s Madi Shaw has developed the reputation as one of the state’s most feared hitters.
This year, the Trojans are off to an 11-0 start and claimed the No. 1 spot in our ESPN Boston softball Top 25 poll for the first time this week.
Shaw, a Fordham commit, comes from a long athletic line at B-R. Her father, Dave, was a star football player and went on to play at the United States Naval Academy, while her mother, Michelle, played field hockey. Her uncles are also Trojans football alumni.
As she has during her first two seasons, Shaw is leading the Trojans in nearly every offensive statistical category, pacing B-R with a .647 batting average, three home runs and 15 RBI.
“She set the pace as a freshman,” B-R head coach Mike Carrozza said. “She had the determination, she had the drive. I think at the time, she was a little bit raw, but she grew into the position.”
We caught up with Shaw after practice Monday for this Q-and-A:
Q: Looking back on freshman year, stepping into a starting role as a first-year player, was there ever a time your felt overwhelmed?
A: “The scariest thing was just getting to know all the girls. I think that’s what was scary to me – just being the youngest on the team and fitting in with them. But I think after practices and the first couple of games, we all fit in together and I think that has carried over into last year, this year.”
Q: How did Fordham emerge as your college choice? How did that come together?
A: “I switched summer teams in August, and just started going around playing tournaments all over the country. The Fordham coaches had watched me down in Florida, they get go my contact information and we started talking. When I visited the campus, I just fell in love with it, and I love the girls on the team, the coaches. I’m thinking about going into business and it’s a great business school, so it’s was just a good all-around school for athletics and academics.”
Q: What did the win over King Philip in last year’s tournament mean for this team heading into this season?
A: “That’s what we’re building from, the North Attleborough win, the KP win. We want to do that again, we don’t want to just keep it in the past, we want to bring that to now.”
Q: Given that, does this group feel any pressure to surpass last year’s result in the tournament?
A: “I think we all feel differently. I think the newer girls feel the pressure because they know the reputation that we’ve gained and the older, returning players want to be back there. I think we individually put pressure on ourselves to keep winning, keep things going in the right direction. I, personally, like that pressure because I feel it helps me play to my potential. I think [pitcher Sarah] Dawson is like that, too. We’ll come into the circle before each game and she’ll look at me and say ‘I don’t want to let anybody on base.’ I think that’s the mentality we have as a whole, as a team, all the time.”
Q: With an undefeated season so far, and beating teams the way you have, how do you think this team can deal with adversity when it might arise?
A: “We know that every single team is coming out to beat us, that’s what they want and we know that. I think that’s a motivator, I think that makes us play even harder because we don’t want to have any losses—especially, when you have all those teams coming in who it’s their goal to beat us.”