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Warriors Athlete of Week: Ellingson off to memorable start

Maddie Ellingson Sport: Softball Position: Third base Year: Junior Age: 17 Height: 5-7 Career highlight: Winning 16-U state softball title in 2013 Other sports: Soccer, hockey Grade-point average: 3.5 Favorite class: English with Mr. Devine Favor...

Warrior third baseman Maddie Ellingson warms up at practice Monday. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
Warrior third baseman Maddie Ellingson warms up at practice Monday. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

Maddie Ellingson

Sport: Softball

Position: Third base

Year: Junior

Age: 17

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Height: 5-7

Career highlight: Winning 16-U state softball title in 2013

Other sports: Soccer, hockey

Grade-point average: 3.5

Favorite class: English with Mr. Devine

Favorite food: Macaroni & cheese

Favorite movie: "Miracle"

Favorite TV show: "Criminal Minds"

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Favorite website: "Instagram"

Future plans: Possibly play sport in college

Parents: Dave and Kim Ellingson

Maddie Ellingson's debut as a starter for the Brainerd Warriors softball team was unforgettable.

The junior third baseman ripped eight hits in nine at bats as Brainerd swept a doubleheader from Moorhead 8-4 in nine innings and 8-1. Her collection of hits included six singles, two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored.

The performance also earned Ellingson Central Lakes Conference Offensive Player of the Week award.

"I just tried to get on base and then things happened," Ellingson said. "Everyone was just excited about the first game."

Warriors coach Shane Jordan said the team was a little nervous for its season opener, but Ellingson, the leadoff batter, was the igniter and provided confidence.

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"Obviously going 8-for-9 she just found a way to get on base whether it was putting the ball in play and getting a single or in the past we've seen her find a way to get on base getting hit by a pitch or a walk," Jordan said. "That day she swung a nice bat. She put the ball in play. She found a way to get on base, give us a chance to score some runs."

On Tuesday, Ellingson went 4-for-6 against St. Cloud Tech, lifting her season average to a team-high .667 (12-for-18) with six RBIs. She said leading off can be nerve-wracking.

"I get nervous sometimes," Ellingson said. "I get the nerves out after (leading off). I just try to get on base any way I can."

Jordan believes Ellingson will be a fixture at the top of the order all season.

"I don't see her coming out of that spot," he said. "She does a great job there for us."

Ellingson also does a great job fielding at the hot corner. She's not afraid to dive for the ball or charge on bunts - even when there's a chance the hitter may swing away.

"I like how active it is," she said. "You're always moving."

Jordan pointed out that Ellingson made two diving catches against Moorhead.

"She had a diving line-drive catch to her left," he said, "and she dove into foul territory to her right and made a catch, too. Defensively she's so fundamental. If you watch her play, she does all the little things right. As a third baseman in softball, you have to be very tenacious. You have to be a good competitor.

"Maddie's willing to do the dirty work at third. She can charge a bunt, knock the ball down in front of her, pick it up and throw somebody out. She's the perfect person for that spot."

Ellingson has helped the Warriors to a 4-0 start despite having had to replace eight graduated starters.

"We have a lot to develop, but we're doing well," Ellingson said. "We've all played together for a while now so that's good."

Other notable efforts:

• David Supinski, boys track, won the CLC indoor 800 run and won the 200 and 400 and was on the winning 4x400 relay with Steven Severson, Cole Spieker and Luke West in the Brainerd Invite.

• The boys 4x400 relay of Cole Spieker, Riley Fabian, Tim O'Reilly and Steven Severson won the CLC indoor title.

• Madi Hill, softball, was 3-5 and got the win vs. Tech.

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at mike.bialka@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark .

Related Topics: BRAINERD WARRIORSSOFTBALL
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