Bulls’ Madison Epperson exemplifies the meaning of team player on softball side

Power-hitting junior put a hard winter of work in success

Madison Epperson in the dugout as she awaits her turn to come up to the plate. JORDAN MCDONALD/TORONTO OBSERVER

TAMPA, Fla. – It’s a classic sports cliché to say that you aren’t focused on individual statistics, but Madison Epperson truly believes that, and she is strictly focused on how well the team performs.

The slugger is currently enrolled in her junior year at the University of South Florida, and she has experienced the ebbs and flows of this program throughout her three seasons with the team.

Epperson mentioned the steps that she has taken in order to become a better teammate in the offseason.

“Over the summer and fall, I really worked on being more confident as a person,” she said. “(And) I feel like I’ve gotten stronger, I’ve been practicing my hitting (abilities), that’s all you can really do.”

Her primary position on the team is ‘designated player,’ which she described as an extra opportunity for somebody to hit, akin to a designated hitter in baseball. She realizes that focusing on her approach at the plate is vital to her team’s success.

During the Wednesday night game versus Penn State, she drove in the only run of the game as the USF Bulls defeated the Nittany Lions 1-0. Currently, she is batting .303 on the season with three home runs and seven RBIs in 33 at-bats.

Interim coach Jessica Moore, filling in while Ken Eriksen runs the Olympic team, is confident with Epperson every time she steps to the plate.

“Every time Maddy goes to the plate, we know we’re going to get a decent at-bat,” said Moore. “She’s given us a shot to win some ball games, so I feel comfortable with her in the (batter’s) box.”

Eventually, Epperson wants a chance to play first base on a full-time basis, but her team-first mentality is at the forefront.

“The goal is to play first base, of course,” she said. “I (will) play anywhere on this field just to help my team, but I’ll take what I can get for sure.”

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Posted: Mar 13 2020 7:33 pm
Filed under: Softball Sports