Earlier this month, the NJCAA announced that Salt Lake Community College freshman softball player Lyndsey Madrigal earned national honors.
The NJCAA named Madrigal to its list of first-team All-Americans. Madrigal was one of 16 players chosen for first-team roster, and among those 16, she was one of only six freshmen to make it.
“I was honestly surprised when I found out that I was selected first-team All-American,” she said. “I felt like I had a good season but didn’t think it was that good.”
Madrigal batted .462 on average, ranking No. 50 in the nation during the 2022 spring season according to the NJCAA.
“We recruited Lyndsey because of her power and how aggressive she is at the plate,” said Head Coach Cyndee Bennett. “She never gets cheated on any swing. She’s just too good.”
Early in last year’s fall scrimmage schedule, when the Bruins played the top teams in Division I softball, Bennett said she knew Madrigal held something special.
“When Lyndsey hit a ball deep off the wall at BYU this past fall, I knew that she was immediately ready to play college softball,” Bennett said. “We couldn’t be happier for her and her first team All-American selection. She’s a good leader for this team going forward.”
Madrigal walked 32 times and ended with a .552 on-base percentage, two figures that placed her No. 20 and No. 19 in the nation, respectively.
“I feel like my greatest strength is that I’m able to recognize balls and strikes really easily,” Madrigal said. “I also like to be really aggressive early in the count, especially when leading off an inning to hopefully get something started.”
Madrigal also led the Bruins with 16 home runs, netting a No. 51 national placement during the 2022 campaign. However, Madrigal said she does not want to be known as just a power hitter in the lineup.
“I feel like I’m a power hitter, but I also hit for average,” Madrigal said. “I set the table really good, and the tone, when I lead off hitting, so I think that’s what makes me different.”
Madrigal thanked those who helped her succeed this past season.
“I owe everything to Coach [Cyndee] Bennett, Assistant Coach Tara Bendt for believing in me, my amazing teammates, and most importantly, my father Cip Madrigal, for always being there for me,” she said.
Looking ahead to 2023
All 14 freshmen who played for the Bruin softball team this past season will return this year, making the team one of the most experienced that Bennett has worked with.
“They had a lot of opportunities to play [last season], so we are going to have a lot of experience this upcoming season,” Bennett said. “I have really high expectations for next season. I’m really excited.”
Leading the charge will be now-sophomore Madrigal, coming off her freshmen campaign.
“I really want to win a region championship,” she said. “We are going to have a really strong class next season. This is the best team chemistry I’ve ever played with, and we are going to have so much experience.”
The offseason does not hold any mandatory commitments until August with the strength and condition program. Some players, including Madrigal, are taking this time to get ready for next season in various tournaments throughout the summer.
Bennett hopes to use the down time for a combination of recruiting and relaxing.
“Being at a two-year school, we do have quite the roster turnover where half the roster every year is gone,” Bennett said. “Which makes my job both challenging and fun at the same time.”