Piedra Vista's Madi Van Riper crushing the ball, getting on base at efficient rate

Matt Hollinshead
Farmington Daily Times
Piedra Vista's Madi Van Riper, seen here during practice on Monday, May 10, 2021, at Farmington Sports Complex, is off a strong start on the hitting end this season.

FARMINGTON — Madi Van Riper’s making the most of her at-bats, crushing the ball and easily getting on base at a highly-efficient rate.

The Piedra Vista third baseman’s tallied just 12 at-bats, but she’s doing serious damage on most of them — whether sending the ball through the gaps or straight over the fence. After just four games, Van Riper’s hitting .667 with five home runs and a pair of doubles. Van Riper, who stands at 5-foot-11, also has an on-base percentage of .714.

In order to make good contact at the plate, Van Riper said she’s focusing on pulling her elbow to keep her in line.

“It just keeps my bat path on straight, keeping me from not dipping, not pulling, not rolling… I just think it’s helping me really put my bat on the ball,” Van Riper said. “I’ve really been able to get my eyes to look and see pitches more clearly now than I have been able to before.”

As a result, Van Riper said she’s noticing opposing pitchers are working their spots more often trying to find ways to ensure she doesn’t simply smash the ball.

“When she swings it and if she squares the ball up, it’s going to come off the bat pretty hard,” PV coach Kevin Werth said. She’s a smart hitter. She’s a patient hitter, sometimes too patient, but she rarely swings at bad pitches… When she does get (a good pitch), she’s going to hit it hard.”

Matt Hollinshead covers sports and business for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577, mhollinshead@daily-times.com and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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