WATERFORD — Maddie Burrows is batting .667 (8-12) with two home runs, four doubles, nine RBIs and nine runs scored.
When it comes to baseball and softball at Waterford, the Burrows family has put together a polarizing resume.
After watching her cousin Mike Burrows get selected in the 11th round of the 2018 MLB Draft and her older brother, Jared, win the 2020 Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year award for baseball, it is now Maddie Burrow’s turn to continue the family tradition of excellence.
“It runs in the family, both of my parents played baseball and softball and now their kids are doing the same,” Burrows said. “My extended family also plays and it is cool that we are connected in this way.”
Burrows had already made a name for herself as a freshman in 2019, hitting .373 with seven home runs while striking our 45 batters in 41 innings with a 0.68 ERA.
“We are a pretty competitive family,” Burrows said. “So when I see their success, I want to take it one step further and go above it.”
“We both won the state championship,” Burrows said. “That was crazy. It was a lot for our family. I was at his game and it gave me extra motivation thinking ‘Alright, now we can do this, too.’”
Nearly two years later, with her brother playing at University of Hartford, Maddie Burrows has begun her junior campaign by posting jaw-dropping numbers.
Waterford’s Maddie Burrows is off to a hot start, tossing a No-hitter on opening day against Bacon Academy and going deep with 2 doubles against New London later in the week #ctsb pic.twitter.com/8qIybjJ2qb
— Will Aldam (@AldamWill) April 16, 2021
Burrows is 3-0 through Waterford’s first four games, allowing just one hit and one run over 15 innings pitched (0.47 ERA) with 35 strikeouts.
She’s batting .667 (8-12) with two home runs, four doubles, nine RBIs and nine runs scored in Waterford’s lead off spot.
On opening day, Burrows no-hit Bacon Academy with 13 strikeouts in five innings. She allowed just two balls to be put in play.
Burrows threw another no-hitter in her second outing, a 16-1 win against Woodstock Academy. She struck out 10 batters over five innings, but allowed a run after a hit batter came around to score on a fielder’s choice.
The first hit allowed by Burrows did not come until the fourth inning of her third start, a 5-0 victory over East Lyme in which she struck out 12.
“This season certainly has a different feel for me,” Burrows said. “There is that nervousness that comes with freshman year, I was coming in not fully knowing what to expect. This year I know what to expect at games and practices so there is less to worry about.”
— Power in Training (@pithitting) March 18, 2020
Burrows a junior, also does not have to worry about her collegiate future, having committed to play softball at Villanova.
“I was so stressed at the end of the summer and throughout the fall season,” Burrows said. “Villanova was one of the first schools I started looking at back in eighth grade and freshman year. To finally finish with them was awesome. They have a phenomenal coaching staff and I am so happy to be going there.”
Burrow’s path to commitment was made more difficult by the cancelation of her sophomore season and the prolonged NCAA recruiting dead period.
“I made my commitment in mid-fall, and the road to that was long,” Burrows said. “Each week I would send out at least 10 emails to a bunch of schools with my tournament schedules to keep them updated along with skills videos.”
Without the spring season, Burrows took advantage of the summer travel ball circuit as well as her mother’s own baseball/softball facility.
“I had a tournament every single weekend throughout the summer and fall,” Burrows said. “During the spring, once the season was canceled, I used my mom’s baseball and softball training facility, Power in Training, constantly.”
Burrows’ mother (Becky Hall) and father (Tim Burrows) met while playing softball and baseball at the University of New Haven and continue to be involved in the sports.
Hall not only owns ‘Power in Training’ but has been an assistant coach for the Connecticut Charmers, her daughter’s former travel team.
“In the summer I played for the Connecticut Charmers. We stayed local, the furthest we went was Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” Burrows said. “In the fall I switched to the Rhode Island Thunder and we traveled as much as we could.”
With the uncertainty of the future gone and after countless hours of preparation, Burrows’ focus has shifted to defending Waterford’s state championship.
“I am definitely locked in right now,” Burrows said. “Eyes are on the state championship again and CCC title. We have a goal board of everything we are looking to accomplish and those are the big ones.”
Burrows believes this year’s team, which is currently ranked No. 2 in the GameTimeCT Top 10 Poll, has what it takes to repeat.
“Our team chemistry is amazing,” Burrows said. “We are all really close and it is a good atmosphere. My freshman year I don’t think we were as tightly knit as we are now. If one of us is down, the entire team is there to pick her up.”
Waterford is off to a 4-0 start, and Burrows credits head coach Andrew Walker for much of the team’s strong comradery.
“You hear about all these other teams with coaches who are always screaming, and they don’t have a good connection with their players,” Burrows said. “But Mr. Walker does a good job of not only coaching, but also building a connection with his players.”
Burrows has lived up to the expectations that come with her family name, and with two more seasons at Waterford, the best may be yet to come.
“Maddie is on a different level,” Waterford coach Andrew Walker said. “Pitching wise, fielding wise and hitting wise she is different. She is a very coachable kid, a fantastic teammate and is above and beyond what you want as a coach.”