Athlete of the Week - Maddie Cocker, Byron Softball
BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) – Maddie Cocker is pitching on a different level right now.
“Honestly I’m just kind of going out there and having fun, I’m not really worried about the stats at this point in the season just having fun with my teammates, " Cocker said.
Just this week, the Byron Senior pitcher combined with a teammate for a second no-hitter. Then struck out 15 batters in a shutout win where she also hit two home runs.
“My assistant coach calls pitches for us and I constantly think he’s just playing a video game because she’s so consistent at hitting her spots and hitting her pitches,” Byron Head Softball Coach Jacob Harmon said.
Cocker works with a number of pitches including an off-speed curve and changeup.
“I throw a lot of movement pitches, my fastball sits between about 62 and 64 miles an hour. I use a riseball very strategically usually as a strikeout pitch,” Cocker said.
Her play all a credit to the work she puts in, not just as an athlete, but as a student.
“For example today, she’s a student first. She’s not going to be at our game today because she has exams and class somethings going on because she’s on a different schedule,” Harmon said.
Through the Postsecondary Enrollment Options program, Cocker takes classes through the University of Minnesota.
“Whatever time I am not spending in softball or in a classroom, I’m either studying or getting ahead on projects and stuff to make it less stressful for myself,” Cocker said.
She’ll now have just about two years left to finish a degree in mechanical engineering at South Dakota State University. Its a balancing act her coach says will be remembered at Byron.
“She’s a great pitcher, but also a great leader and a kid that really figured out how to balance life and academics as well as athletics,” Harmon said.
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