New Prague senior first baseman Maddie Giesen is hoping to conclude her prep career with three consecutive state tournament appearances, two in softball and one in girls’ basketball.
Last season the Trojans made the program’s first appearance in the softball state tournament in the school’s history. They lost both of their games, to Maple Grove and Bloomington Jefferson.
“My high school career as an athlete has gone by super quickly,” Giesen said. “I want to make sure I enjoy every practice and game while having fun with teammates. I also hope to get back to the state tournament with the softball team, and exceed last year’s performance.”
New Prague entered its final three games of the regular season with an overall record of 13-3.
Here is a closer look at Giesen as her team gears up for sections:
Q What is the best movie you have seen in the last year?
A “Furious 7.” Before the movie came out I had not started the series, so my best friend gave me the first six, and I watched them all in one week. Afterwards, we went and saw the seventh one together. It’s definitely a new favorite series of mine.
Q Three words or phrases your friends or teammates would use to describe you are …
A … competitive, goofy and driven.
Q At your first varsity practice, you felt …
A ... super excited. I got moved up to the varsity team my ninth grade year during a section game. I was in complete awe playing with my role models, and learned so much from the older players.
Q Prior to every game, you …
A ... get pretty nervous, but the nerves help me focus and get in the correct mindset. I love laughing with the team on the bus and singing along to my favorite tunes. Singing pump-up music [in my horrible voice] always calms me down and helps me visualize exactly what I want to accomplish each game.
Q What did your work on most prior to your senior softball season?
A My slap hitting and drag bunt. It’s fun to put balls in play, but I love being able to pick a specific spot in the field to hit the ball to exploit teams’ weaknesses.
Q What is your most memorable moment as a high school athlete?
A I have two very memorable moments as a high school athlete. The first one came this past winter with my basketball team. We beat Hill-Murray 58-38 in the Class 3A, Section 4 final game and continued on to the state tournament. My senior basketball season is one I will always remember. My other memorable moment came my junior year during the softball season when we beat Prior Lake 2-0 in the Class 3A, Section 2 final game to make our very first state tournament appearance. I will never forget the excitement I felt after we got the third out to win the game. That game continues to motivate the team this year as our section games get closer.
Q How do you balance school and sports during the year?
A Balancing school and sports is always a struggle when you want to succeed in both areas, but my coaches and teachers are very supportive. My teachers are always interested in how softball is going, and my coaches are always considerate to the amount of homework I have each night. It’s very helpful to have such encouraging people surrounding me that want me to succeed in both areas of my life.
Q Name one sport that you wish you could play, and why?
A Lacrosse. Our school doesn’t currently have a lacrosse team, and to be honest I don’t even know exactly how to play. But it looks fun and I love trying new things.