AURORA | As a player with many different talents on the softball diamond, Maddie Siemer appreciates the versatility going to the Colorado School of Mines offers.
The Smoky Hill High School senior-to-be expected to attend college outside of Colorado, but found an ideal mix of the things she was looking for — the chance to play softball at the next level and get a quality education — closer to home than she originally thought.
With all the those things and a summer club softball teammate already headed there, Siemer gave her verbal commitment to the NCAA Division II school in Golden on July 15.
“I looked at a few other schools that were out of state, like Emory for example,” Siemer told the Sentinel. “I never really expected to stay in state for college…I chose Mines because it really is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds. I’m getting the opportunity to continue playing the sport I love at a competitive level and to receive an amazing education. Those were the two most important things I was looking for in my search for the right college.
“When Mines kind of just fell into my lap earlier this year, I realized it was a perfect fit.”
Siemer said the Orediggers — who finished 11-38 last season — want her to pitch primarily, a role she’s very familiar with.
Last season with Smoky Hill, Siemer finished with a 9-10 record and a 5.45 ERA, while she racked up 118 strikeouts in 106 innings on the mound. The right-hander’s strikeout total led the Centennial League and ranked No. 8 in all of Class 5A and she has 272 whiffs in three varsity seasons with the Buffs to go with a 16-23 mark.
She also hopes to be able to hit, which she also showed the ability to do last season with a .389 batting average that ranked second among Buffs’ regulars and drove in a team-high 24 runs. Centennial League coaches voted Siemer onto the all-league first team as a utility player, while she made the All-Centennial League second team in 2013.
At Mines — where’s she considering studying biomedical or biochemical engineering — Siemer gets the chance to join summer teammate Dani Valerio, a 2015 Dakota Ridge graduate who played with her over the summer on the Colorado Next Level Gold club team.
Before that, she wants to help Smoky Hill — which is coached by her father, Mark — take the next step of qualifying for the Class 5A postseason. The Buffaloes went from five wins in 2013 to nine last season and tied for fifth in the league.
Fall softball practice officially begins on Aug. 17 along with the rest of the fall sports other than boys golf (Aug. 10).
“My goals this year for my high school team are to really just leave everything we have on the field,” Siemer said. “I personally feel that Smoky’s softball program has really grown more and more every year that I’ve been a part of it. This season, I just want to be a leader and really push myself and my teammates to better show how hard we’ve been working.
“I think we’ll surprise some people this year. We were so close to making playoffs last year and we all want it bad this year. We’re ready.”
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel