For junior biology major Madison Coutts, softball is a lifelong passion.
From Tampa, Fla., Coutts began playing softball at age six. She played on travel teams starting at age eight and continued on through high school. Playing on club teams allowed her to travel to states such as Colorado, Georgia and California and meet lots of new people.
“I always played catcher or third baseman [growing up],” said Coutts.
She still plays catcher for the University of Dallas. As a natural leader, Coutts likes playing catcher because the position requires such deep involvement and engagement with the game. Coutts joked that she “has a very big mouth,” which every athlete knows is a major part of team communication and the key to successfully running plays.
“I’m always involved in every play. [As catcher], the ball is pitched to you, and you get the ball. If it’s hit you’re still involved. You can see the whole field in front of you.”
Coutt’s family influenced her love of the game as well.
“My step-dad was also my softball coach and has been [coaching me] since I graduated from high school. It was a good and bad thing.It brought us closer together, but we butted heads a lot.”
Coutts’ uncle, Michael Morris (nicknamed “The Beast”), played Major League Baseball. Originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1969, Morris played for the San Francisco Giants and the Seattle Mariners as well.
“Whenever I was growing up, I always dreamed of being a college softball player,” said Coutts. Now she’s accomplished that dream.
The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), of which UD is a member, announced the cancellation of all conference competitions, including the championships of all 2020 spring sports, due to COVID-19.
After her sophomore season was cut short, Coutts and the rest of her team were devastated.
“It was a taste of what it was like to see this sport taken away,” she said. “I’m not ready to be done with this sport.”
Coutts said that her proudest moment as an athlete was during the 2020 spring season, despite the cancellation.
“When we went to SCAC, we as a team weren’t doing too well. But we went out and had fun and we gelled as a team tremendously. It was just such a great experience.”
Even with an abrupt end, Coutts and her teammates finished strong. During the spring 2020 season, UD softball had 16 contests, including two SCAC series. The UD Athletics website reported a 5-11 record and earned an eight-inning victory at Centenary College to capture its first conference win.
Coutts posted strong statistics during the spring 2020 season, according to UD Athletics. She led the UD team with 15 walks and 14 runs. Further, she posted a .357 batting average (3rd at UD) and recorded a hit in 11 games. Coutts’ sophomore season was a strong showing, to say the least.
Her junior pre-season has only now begun, but Coutts is already enjoying spending time with her teammates and getting back into practices. The newly assigned softball head coach, Christian Novak, is working hard with the team. Coutts said she’s excited to see the team come together, grow as a unit and bond.
“They’re my family, even the freshmen I’ve only just gotten to know. The greatest feeling is knowing that I have a family here,” Coutts said. “Right now we’ve only had three practices, and [Coach Novak] works with us very well. We’re going back to dynamics.”
When asked if she had any goals for the upcoming season, Coutts said, “Give 110%, every game. . . I’m here to play and have fun, and I only have two more seasons left so I want to give it my all.”
As a biology major, Coutts’ long-term goal is to be an orthopedic surgeon.
At twelve years old, a softball impacted Coutt’s hand while she was playing catcher and shattered the bones in her finger. She underwent surgery for the injury, and now has no knuckle in her right ring finger but full function and range of motion.
After undergoing this trauma and successful recovery, Coutts was inspired to pursue medicine. Although Coutts said any biology class is her favorite class, this semester she is taking anatomy, which has proven to be a significant challenge. This is an especially difficult course for many biology students.
“It’s a lot, but it’s what I want to do,” she said.
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) approaches next semester, so Coutts is preparing and studying to take the standardized test. “This school really prepares us for [the MCAT], that’s why I love it,” Coutts said.
“I chose UD because of the bio program, as well as the softball team,” said Coutts. “I love how small it is, we get to know everyone in the community.”