(Audio from Edwards is below)
Lake Mills’ three-time all-conference catcher, Madison Edwards, announced yesterday her commitment to play softball at Hawkeye Community College next year. The RedTails are a startup program and will take the field for the first time in 2023.
“When I went to visit, Courtney Calkins (Hawkeye’s coach), she just made it feel so welcoming and open, and with it being the first year, I just thought it would be a great experience, and the campus is incredible,” said Edwards.
Edwards made her commitment at a signing ceremony held at Lake Mills high school. She was surrounded by coaches and teammates, along with her family.
Edwards has been one of the keys to success for the Bulldogs and coach Bill Brynes over the past four seasons and part of the reason Lake Mills has gone from barely winning games to a winning record last year. During her eighth-grade season, Edwards saw plenty of varsity action; she played in 23 games and started 14 of them. She recorded 35 plate appearances and collected four hits for the team that went 2-26. In the COVID-19 season in 2020, the Bulldogs went 2-12, but since then, Lake Mills and Edwards have been getting better each year.
“It’s been just the greatest feeling. Since my eighth-grade year, I’ve been playing varsity, and I’ve been able to help our teammates and influence them – the feeling great to know I’ve done what I can to make this program better”, Edwards mentioned.
In 2021, the Bulldogs finished with an even 12-12 record, and then sophomore Edwards had her best season statically. She hit a .447 average while collecting 24 singles, seven doubles, one triple, and two home runs. She added 31 RBI and threw four would-be base stealers out. The conference coaches recognized her performances and hard work as she was selected to the Top of Iowa All-Conference First-Team. It was her second all-conference award, but for the first time, she was selected to the first team. In 2020, her freshman season, she was chosen as an honorable mention.
“I know that I’m good enough to be part of such an accomplished team within the last couple of years; (2021) was the rebuild – it was amazing just knowing that I was able to help and prove to my teammates and to myself that I’m that good”, Edwards said of her first-team all-conference selection in 2021.
Last year was another first-team all-conference performance for Edwards as she helped Lake Mills to their first winning season since 2017 when Lake Mills finished 14-8 overall. Edwards recorded 26 hits, nine doubles, and 25 RBI, while the Bulldogs were bounced from the postseason by Central Springs, who, at the time, was the top-ranked team in the state.
As for this coming season, Edwards hopes once again to be a Top of Iowa Conference first-team all-conference selection, but she also wants to see how far this team can make it in the postseason. Knowing that Central Springs will once again be strong and where Lake Mills is located geographically, Edwards knows it’s likely they will meet the Panthers again in the postseason.
“(I want to) try and beat them and get even farther (in the postseason). They lost some of their power hitters, and that’s helpful for us, although they still have Cooper (Klaahsen), a great pitcher”, said Edwards.
Edwards says she sees other girls in the program starting to work as hard as she does in the offseason, trying to improve the program. With what they have returning, Lake Mills should be figured towards the top of the TIC West this summer.
AUDIO – Clips from KIOW’s interview with Edwards
Q: Why Hawkeye?
Q: How does it feel helping the program go from 2-26 to 14-8?
Q: How does it feel to be selected for the TIC West first team?
Q: What have your coaches done for you?
Q: It seems like the other girls are also buying in and putting in the work. Do you see others putting in the work?