When Puyallup High catcher Maddy Besaw and shortstop Natalie Joyner signed their Division I softball commitments earlier this month, they can say they did it their way.
“I always wanted to go to a college on the East Coast, and I always wanted to make sure I was going to the school that I wanted to go to,” Besaw said. “I like to be in control in what I do in my life.”
Besaw signed her commitment to Stony Brook University in New York, and Joyner with Northern Colorado as part of a Nov. 9 ceremony inside the library at Puyallup High, adding the growing list of Vikings who have gone on to play college softball.
“I think it’s a big deal because Puyallup has a lot of student-athletes. It says more about Puyallup as a whole,” Joyner said. “You get a lot of good talent out of here.”
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Over the years, as these girls helped Puyallup win one 4A SPSL championship after another, improving every day with each other and their teammates, Besaw and Joyner never lost sight of who they were.
Leaders on the field and off of it, no one player could match the way each girl displayed their talent on the field.
For Joyner, it was as simple as feeling at home at shortstop, allowing herself to delight at the chance to make jaw-dropping plays that often left coach Tony Batinovich to wonder what she would do next.
“I think I’m pretty comfortable ... I played there pretty much my whole life,” said Joyner of playing shortstop.
As long as Joyner was slotted at one of the middle infield spots, the Vikings never have anything to worry about. The same can be said of Besaw at catcher, perhaps the top catcher Batinovich has ever coached.
No one player is in more control of the Vikings softball team than Besaw, who has taken this team by the horns and made it her own.
“I only like being a leader, and I don’t like being a follower,” Besaw said. “I like leading everybody.”
Whether it’s taking control of the pitching staff, setting her defense in the right position or just chatting it up with the home plate umpire, Besaw just wants to be in control.
And that’s what this signing was for Besaw and Joyner — about taking control of the next few years.