What Madison Knight said was not her best day on the softball field turned out to be anything but in the end.
Knight, who just started her senior season at Albany, committed to Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge, Ark., following a prospect camp at the school over the weekend.
Knight admitted to struggling with her hitting during the event and said she wasn’t pleased with her performance.
“Growing up playing softball and having coaches who pushed me, I knew that I could have performed better, and I knew that I could have done something different to make the day go better,” she said. “Batting – just simple mechanical things that I could have fixed – I felt like I could have done that better. It was all in my head because it’s a big thing going up to a college and having to perform in front of two college coaches and all kinds of college players.”
Even though she wasn’t in the best of spirits leaving the event, Knight said she talked things over with first-year Williams Baptist coach Jessica Nutt, who offered Knight a scholarship during a visit to the campus earlier this summer.
“We had talked about it before, but I wasn’t so sure about whether I wanted to accept the offer or not, but going into this weekend and meeting everybody again and having them remember who I was and just getting to go up there in the atmosphere I was at, I realized that when I got back to our hotel room and made the decision,” Knight said.
Nutt, however, called Knight before she could make her call.
“When we got back to our room, she actually called me to talk to me about some new facility items that they had, and that’s when I decided to tell her that I wanted to accept the offer,” said Knight, indicating her decision came down to Louisiana College and Williams Baptist.
Knight said the ‘family aspect’ of the Williams program was the main factor in deciding to attend the school.
“When I went up to Williams, all the girls still remembered my name and knew who I was,” she said. “I felt like I was one of them already, and it wasn’t weird at all. It just felt like I was another college player with them.”
In committing to Williams Baptist, Knight, who was a first-team All-District 7-3A selection as an infielder as a junior, became Nutt’s first commitment from the Class of 2020. Knight’s father, David, who is also her coach, said his daughter was also the first player Nutt made an offer to after taking over as coach.
“She wanted to go to a Christian school,” David Knight said. “LC and Williams both are very safe. They’re both very Christian-oriented. There’s a fine line there because as a coach, you want the best playing opportunity, and as a dad, you want the best kid opportunity. Through the process this summer, Williams was offering a better chance to play early, and LC has a lot more girls that they’re making offers to. The coach in me was kind of wanting her to go to Williams. The dad in me was kind of hanging back and letting her make the decision. It was hard for me this summer. It really was.”
Madison Knight said she’s happy she can focus on getting ready for her senior season.
“It’s definitely different because now I don’t have to go to any camps or go through the recruiting process any more,” she said. “It does definitely feel like a weight off my shoulders, and it feels like a big accomplishment.”
Knight, who’s played second base, shortstop, catcher and in the outfield, said she’ll play catcher at Williams Baptist.
“I grew up playing middle infield, but last year in high school ball, having to step up and fill the role as catcher in a few of the games, I definitely wanted to pursue catching, so this summer, I decided to go be a full-time catcher, and I just worked hard at it and got better over the summer,” Madison Knight said. “That’s what impressed her (Nutt) about me when I went up there the first time was my catching skills.”
Knight, who said she’s planning to major in liberal arts with a focus in biology and psychology with an eye toward getting a nursing degree, said being away from home will be an adjustment.
“I’m definitely a homebody, so I’m going to miss all my family, but going up there knowing some of the girls will help the fact of not feeling as worried about going so far off,” she said. “It’s definitely something new, but I’m blessed to have the opportunity to go play college softball. That’s definitely one thing that every little girl who plays softball looks forward to and is excited about is growing up and being able to go play college softball and get to play with the big girls, and I can finally say that I’m going to be one of them.”