Price Of Fame: Two-way talent Rutan repeats as Republic Softball Player of the Year – The Republic

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Although Maddi Rutan’s home run and RBI numbers were a little lower than last year, there’s one number that went up in a big way this season.
Intentional walks.
Opposing teams, many of which were burned by Rutan in 2021, had second thoughts about pitching to her this season. But the Columbus North junior still enjoyed a productive season at the plate and an even better one in the pitching circle in earning The Republic Softball Player of the Year honor for the second consecutive year.
“You can’t put a number on how many times they pitched around her, too,” North coach Ron McDonald said. “That does a lot. A lot of people tried to entice her into bad hitting if they could.”
If they tried to entice Rutan into swinging at bad pitches, it didn’t work. Her batting average jumped to .538. She had a .632 on-base percentage, thanks in large part to 19 walks, both intentional and unintentional.
“When it comes down to it, (the walks are) frustrating, but the person behind you, you just have to have confidence in,” Rutan said. “That was kind of my motto just believe in your teammates because I was definitely not the only one that could hit. Our whole team could hit, and I had confidence in all of them to back me up.”
Rutan led the Bull Dogs with seven doubles, 12 home runs, 31 RBIs and 31 runs scored. She had 15 home runs and 45 RBIs last season, her first year of high school softball.
But just as effective as Rutan was at the plate, she was even more dominant with her right arm. She went 12-4 with an 0.59 ERA a single-season school record while striking out 182 and walking only seven in 95 innings.
“I think I didn’t do as well (hitting) as last year,” Rutan said. “Pitching, I definitely think I got better. I did get faster pitching, and I feel like I did get more accurate. Hitting, I feel like it stayed a little bit the same, maybe just a little bit better.”
“She pitched really well,” McDonald said. “She picked up a lot of speed during the year. She’s consistently at 65-66 (MPH) now. That’s what kept us in every game this year was her pitching.”
The only downside to Rutan and the Bull Dogs’ season is that they did not come away with any championships. After winning Conference Indiana, sectional and regional titles last season, they finished runner-up in both the conference and sectional this season.
Still, North went 20-4 and outscored its opponents 185-17.
“I think we did have a good season,” Rutan said. “The hardest part about it was not losing, but losing our seniors. We all played together, and we all played good. Our season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but we did pretty good.”
Since the season ended in late May, Rutan has been playing with her Ohio Hawks travel team. They finished second in a tournament in Indianapolis, where she pitched and played shortstop, third base and outfield.
This summer, the Hawks will travel to tournaments in Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio and back to Indianapolis.
“She’s so well known now, I think she’s one of the best players in the state,” McDonald said. “If we’d have gone farther in the tournament, I think she’d have been right up there with (Roncalli’s Gatorade National Player of the Year Keagan) Rothrock. She just had a great year. I think she’s probably top five in the state.”
Rutan, who has committed to play at Eastern Kentucky, is hoping for a big senior season next spring.
“I definitely want to do better than we did this year,” Rutan said. “I think next year is going to be fun.”
The Republic All-Area Softball team: 
Maddi Rutan, Columbus North: The junior went 12-3 with an 0.59 ERA and led the Bull Dogs with a .538 average, seven 2B, 12 HR, 31 RBIs and 31 runs scored.
Rachel Cowan, Columbus North: The senior went 8-0 with an 0.82 ERA and batted .317 with five HR and 18 RBIs.
Kirsten Danford, Columbus North: The junior batted .439 with one HR and 14 RBIs.
Josie Lemmons, Columbus North: The junior batted .411 with one HR, 20 RBIs and 28 runs scored and led the Bull Dogs with 13 SB.
Kelsey Lovelace, Columbus North: The sophomore led the Bull Dogs with seven 2B and four 3B and batted .388 with two HR, 21 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
Kenzie Foster, Columbus East: The junior led the Olympians with a .513 average, eight 3B, two HR, 34 SB and 39 runs scored.
Kaylee Cole, Columbus East: The junior batted .486 with 25 RBIs, 26 SB and 26 runs scored and led the Olympians with eight 2B and two HR.
Hannah Taylor, Hauser: The junior batted .473 with 39 runs scored and led the Jets with 13 2B, four 3B, seven HR and 35 RBIs.
Paige McDaniel, Hauser: The sophomore went 16-4 with a 2.39 ERA and batted .385 with one HR and 14 RBIs.
Lucie Asher, Hauser: The freshman led the Jets with a .566 average, 17 SB and 40 runs scored and had seven 2B, two HR and 23 RBIs.
Reagan Johnson, Hauser: The junior batted .545 with seven 2B, one HR and 24 RBIs.
Izzy Brunner, Hauser: The freshman batted .474 with 10 2B, two 3B, 32 RBIs and 38 runs scored.
Kyra Meister, Hauser: The junior batted .444 with four 2B, 21 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
Delaynee McCreary, Jennings County: The senior led the Panthers with a .411 average and eight 2B and had 14 RBIs and 16 runs scored.
Gracie Crawhorn, Edinburgh: The junior led the Lancers with a .655 average, 15 HR, 33 RBIs and 43 runs scored.
MacKenzie Bieker, Edinburgh: The sophomore batted .571 with eight HR, 30 RBIs and 29 runs scored and went 10-5 with a 2.39 ERA.
Bailey Tabeling, Trinity Lutheran: The junior led the Cougars with a .518 average, 28 SB and 29 runs scored.
Kamzi Gross, Trinity Lutheran: The senior went 7-2 with a 2.64 ERA and batted .431 with 16 RBIs and a team-high four HR.
Honorable mention
Brown County: Savannah Oden, Ava Sanders. Columbus East: Addy Ross, Mackenzie Sigman. Columbus North: Kaylee Cowan, Bailey King, Lillian Mackey. Edinburgh: Kyah Streeval. Hauser: Kenze Bostic, Haylin Campbell, Maley Jordan. Jennings County: Alexis Carson, Kenzie Matern. South Decatur: Lakota Henry, Loryn Pate. Trinity Lutheran: Madison Keith, Grace Lance.
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