MORRIS — Outfielder Maddy Feeney led the Morris softball team in six major offensive categories, including batting average at .346, as a junior in 2013.
The Murray State University-bound Feeney is aiming to lead the Redskins on and off the field during her final spring with them. They got off to a 3-0 start last weekend at Jacksonville's 'Play the Turf' Jamboree, though their other scheduled games through Saturday have been canceled due to weather.
Prior to an indoor practice Thursday, Feeney spoke to the Morris Daily Herald.
Q. How did [Murray State] get in contact with you? How did the how process come about with your recruitment?
A. Over the summer, I was talking to a lot of schools about where I was gonna go, and Murray State came across with our travel team. They wanted me to visit, for an official visit. At first, we were hesitant about it, because it was so far away, but we ended up going down there, and we fell in love with the school. We fell in love with the coaches. And then they ended up offering me some money, so that's when I decided to go there for softball, and I love it there.
Q. What effect does having that decision made, and not having to worry about it, have on your senior season?
A. I think I will play more, just letting go and having more fun while playing, and not worrying about where I'm going to be going to college, and where I'm stressing about going to college. I think I'll be having more fun while playing.
Q. What did you see from the team last weekend?
A. I saw a lot of good things from our team last weekend. We played so good last weekend. We all came together as a team, and we played together and we worked together, and we all had a lot of fun while doing that.
Q. What excites you most about this year's team? Is there anything that you feel will be there that maybe wasn't last year or the past few years?
A. I feel like we'll be working together more this year, that it maybe wasn't as much last year, and we're all very close this year, which will help us a lot during the season. I think us being together will be helpful to us this season, and we'll win a lot more games.
Q. Will your role be any different this year, do you feel, than it's been, and if so, how?
A. Well, I'm a captain again this year, as I was last year, but this year I feel that it won't be a lot different than last year, but I'm trying to be a better captain this year — having us all work together and no drama this year and stay together as a team.
Q. Has softball always been 'your sport'?
A. Yes. Softball has always been my No. 1 sport, but I started getting serious about softball probably about five years ago.
Q. What made you start to get serious about it?
A. My travel coaches changed to the Findlays, and that's when I started loving softball more, and I started wanting to play in college and wanting to push myself to be able to play in college.
Q. Who are the Findlays? How did you get in touch with them, and what have they done for you?
A. The Findlays are, Angela and Sam Findlay played for [the University of] Michigan, and they were on the team that won the championship there, and their dad [Joe] is my coach, and then Angela was once my coach, too. My other travel coach, the assistant, is Kelly Papesh. I found them, I started playing with them at the [Stone City] Sharks — and then when he moved from the Sharks, my coach, like my whole team followed him to the Taylor Made Titans program, and I followed him everywhere I go. He knows a lot about softball, and I'm very thankful for everything he's done for me.
Q. You had a really high batting average last year. How aware of that were you during the season? Was it something you even concerned yourself with, and were you surprised to see it so high at the end?
A. I never really concerned myself with my batting average. I never really cared about it. I just went out there and did my best for the team. I was kind of surprised to see my batting average that high, but I mean I was proud of it and I didn't let it get to my head or anything like that.
Q. Do you have any goals for yourself individually or for the team this season?
A. My goals this season are more focused on the team, and then my individual goals will follow along with that. My team goals are more, hopefully we will get first in conference, and hopefully we will win regionals or get a good seed in regionals, and then hopefully we'll do good after that.