Madison Cathcart’s 2018 season will be remembered by fans and record books alike.
With a .444/.596/.954 slash line, the junior criminal justice major set eight single-season Seattle University records. Starting all 56 games at first base, she hit 20 doubles and drew 53 walks—the most of either in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC)—and added 19 home runs for good measure.
Ranked in the Top 10 nationally in six statistical categories, her offensive prowess did not go unrecognized. Cathcart earned All-WAC First Team honors and was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association First Team All-Pacific Region, the first player to earn this prestigious honor in program history.
After helping lead Seattle U to their most successful season in the Division I era, Cathcart and the rest of the Seattle U Softball team have just begun their 2019 campaign. In the teams’ first five games of her junior season, Cathcart already has a home run, a double, four walks, and eight runs batted in.
NG: In terms of the schedule for the 2019 season, how is everything looking so far?
MC: We have a really hard schedule this year. For the first tournament in Arizona, we play three PAC-12 teams. We play Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, and Bradley, which is a really good Division I team. There’s also Weber state—we lost to them last year, but we will definitely be looking to pay them back.
NG: What has the team been doing fall and winter quarter in preparation for the season?
MC: Practice, practice, practice. We have been perfecting our game for four months. Even when we’re away at home or over break, we were in the cages, on the field, doing anything that we could do to perfect our game individually and as a team. We’ve been together for a really long time and I think that practicing together so hard and so often is going to be our defining factor.
NG: Considering you guys spend so much time around one another, how is the team dynamic looking this year?
MC: Every year it’s different. This year, I think it’s going to be more smooth. We all want the same thing: academics first, softball second. Anything else kind of falls behind, and we stick to that motto. We’re all wanting the same thing—to win the WAC tournament, to go to regionals, and so on.
NG: And going along with the team aspect of the sport, do you have a favorite memory from this year so far?
MC: This year we went on a team retreat in September. It was two weekends in and nobody knew anything about each other, so it kind of felt like a dating site. One person was sitting and the other would rotate so we would tell each other about ourselves. We got to know each other on that basis and then we spent the night roasting marshmallows— basically a big bonfire—and we didn’t end up going to bed until 3 a.m. We had to come out and practice the next day so we were all dragging, but we were so happy we got the opportunity to get to know each other.
NG: Do you have any big team goals this year?
MC: Going into every game wanting to put your best foot forward and compete. Whether we win or lose, we want to leave the field knowing that we gave it our all. We’re going to lose, and there will be hard games…But we’ll get to leave the field, go to the airport, and leave the city saying we gave it our all and nothing else can be done. We can move forward and be stronger.
NG: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of your sport?
MC: I’m busy, so I really enjoy sitting in bed and reading a good book or binge-watching anything.
NG: Do you have a current favorite show or book?
MC: I’m watching “You” right now. Or “Ted Bundy”—I’m a criminal justice major so I’m watching it purely for research purposes.
NG: How do you ultimately balance school and sports? Especially with the season coming up, how do you handle the stresses that come with being a student-athlete?
MC: My best tip to give any athlete, take it or leave it, is to get ahead in your schoolwork. Right now, I’m a week ahead in all my assignments. I don’t want to go into a hotel or a tournament and have to do any homework. I want to leave school for a little while and focus purely on softball. I’ll come back and I’ll do preparation for the next week, that way I don’t have to come back Monday and scramble for my Tuesday/Thursday classes. Just getting ahead is the best way to do it, and the only way to de-stress yourself.
Nicole may be reached at