DUBLIN — The softball pipeline from West Bladen High to Southeastern Community College in Whiteville continued Tuesday, when Lady Knights senior pitcher Madison Collins inked her intention to play for the Lady Rams.
Along with following in the footsteps of former West Bladen stars like Abbey Walters, Robin Coleman, Erica Tanner, Danielle Dove and Kaitlyn Sykes, Collins will join former Lady Knights first baseman Laikyn Pait on the SCC roster.
“I think she’s ready,” said West Bladen softball coach Pam Stephens. “But she’ll have to work hard.”
Collins put together an 11-13 record in the circle for the Lady Knights this past season with a 5.13 ERA, 98 strikeouts and 41 walks in 135 innings. She was 4-0 as a junior with 21 strikeouts and 12 walks over 21 innings. But should SCC need her to play outside the circle, Collins is ready.
“She’s a good outfielder and would have played there if we didn’t need her to pitch,” Stephens said. “She also hits well and is very coachable, which is a big thing.”
Collins batted .310 her senior season with four doubles, a triple, home run and 15 RBI.
“I don’t really care where I play … I just want to play,” Collins said. “I’m happy with all the experience and good coaching I received (at West Bladen).”
Collins, who said there was some early interest in Salem College in Greensboro, Wingate University and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, she knew early on that SCC was the place for her.
“I know the girls who played there and I know Laikyn well, so I know what to expect,” she said. “Plus, it’s close to home.”
Collins said she plans to major in nursing and potentially transfer to a four-year program after two years, preferably UNCP if the lady Braves are interested in her softball skills. Otherwise, she will complete the three-year nursing program.
Collins is the daughter of David and Tonya Collins of Lumberton.
“We’re excited for her,” her father said, “and are happy she will be close to home.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.