CLOVIS, Calif. (KGPE) – Clovis North senior softball star Ryan Maddox has been making headlines at her high school since she arrived as a freshman, both with her arm and her bat.
“Last two years, she’s led the TRAC (Tri-River Athletic Conference) in all the the defensive stats for pitching, and you turn the page, and she leads them all in the offensive stats for hitting,” said Broncos head coach Courtney Dale at a recent practice. “So she’s probably the toughest out in the league, and probably the toughest one to get a hit off of.”
In her four-year high school career, she hit over .430 at the plate, including over .500 as a junior.
And despite her freshman season being shortened to only 8 games because of the COVID pandemic, as a pitcher, she went 62-5 in the circle, with a career ERA under one and nearly 800 career strikeouts, with nearly two-thirds of her outs in high school coming by way of the punchout.
“She’s gotten better every single year, I’m really proud of her, she’s the total package when it comes to pitching,” says Dale.
And team success has followed.
She helped lead Clovis North to its first section title in school history as a sophomore, and helped the Broncos earn recognition in state and national polls over the last several years.
“Here at Clovis North, we didn’t have the best softball team before I came in,” says Maddox, who is also a great student and has been involved in athletic leadership at Clovis North. “And me and my teammates kind of turned this program around.”
So what is Ryan’s secret in the circle?
Despite standing only 5-foot-3, she generates velocity that will play fine in college at the Division I level. She has maximized that speed through hard work in the gym, and individual work with Dale, who has been her personal pitching coach since she was eight year’s old.
“She uses every part of her body to create momemtum and speed,” said Dale. “And she throws just as hard as the girls that are five, six inches taller than her.”
Being left-handed also helps.
“So the way that the ball comes in and the angle, it’s a lot more difficult to hit from a left-handed pitcher,” added Dale.
But what makes her really effective are the different movements and speeds she can create with her five pitches.
“I kind of mix grips and mix release points with all that stuff.” says Maddox.
“Especially her drop balls, those things are dirty,” says Maddox’s catcher, junior Kiara Sipe. “Those things have crazy amounts of movement.”
Ryan will be headed to traditional Pac-12 softball power Arizona next season.
“The coaching staff was great, it just felt at home,” says Maddox about choosing Arizona. “The players there treated me really well on my visits, their stadium is beautiful, and all around it was just a great fit for me and for my family.”
And who knows, maybe one day we might be talking about Maddox in the same breath as her high school coach, who followed an outstanding career at Bullard High with an All-American performance at UCLA, where she led the Bruins to a national championship in 1999.
“She (Maddox) reminds me of myself that I hated to lose,” summed up Dale. “I would do anything not to lose, and just that competitive part of it. And then you walk off the field and you’re kind of a different person, Ryan reminds me a lot of that.”