Ex-Hornet, ex-Leopard Lamp inks with JUCO South Georgia State College Hawks

NEXT HAWK – Hernando High graduate Madyson Lamp, center, signs a letter of intent to play JUCO softball at South Georgia State College in Douglas. She is flanked by her parents, Ami and Fred Lamp.

SOFTBALL

Ex-Hornet, ex-Leopard Lamp inks with JUCO South Georgia State College Hawks

Departs HHS with

school record 13 HR

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

With some historic achievements, come asterisks.

Madyson Lamp

Just ask Spring Hill’s Madyson Lynn Lamp.

Lamp, 18, is a softball anomaly of sorts.

She played prep softball for four seasons locally mostly as a third baseman/designated hitter/pitcher.

Problem was she only played for Weeki Wachee as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Hernando High.

Along the US-19 campus, the 5-foot-9, 200-pounder played in 50 contests rapping out 77 hits across 137 at-bats for a .stout 562 average.

After switching to the Bell Ave. campus of Hernando, Lamp, whose nicknamed “Bear”, played in 59 tilts for the Purple and Gold amassing 82 safeties across 153 at-bats, hitting .536.

Most schools don’t count any career records under 100 career games, but Lamp’s efforts – she was a three-time All-County selection – deserve a second look.

At Weeki Wachee, she left the 7-year-old Hornets program as the school’s all-time hitter based solely on her production over two seasons.

In Brooksville, Lamp’s .536 career average is the best over the last 25 years – dating from 1995-2019.

But that comes with a caveat.

HHS’ Megan Lane set a Hernando County record batting .646 in 2015. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Megan Lane, who stood out mostly as a catcher/shortstop from 2012-15, hit .517.

The left-handed slapping Lane played in 114 games with the Purple and Gold before playing D-I softball at Mercer University, is seen as the school’s career record holder.

Lane, a four-time All-County selection, already possesses HHS’ all-time records for runs scored (166), hits (203), and stolen bases.

The argument over who is the best all-time hitter at HHS might be tabled for now and solved at a later date by someone else.

Lamp, who helped guide the Leopards to its first FHSAA Final Four in 18 years, recently signed with a JUCO program, South Georgia State College in Douglas.

 

 

Lamp 411

Madyson was born in Barberton, Ohio – near Akron – as the oldest of three children to Fred and Ami Lamp.

Ami was raised in Kansas but played softball at Land O’ Lakes High School while Fred played no sports in Ohio.

The Lamps have called Spring Hill home for the past 14 years after relocating from Ohio.

The brown-tressed and hazel-eyed Lamp was practically raised on the dusty area sandlots.

At 5 years old, she played Spring Hill Dixie Softball at the Anderson Snow Sports Complex.

Since she was small, she’s played pitcher, catcher and third base.

Softball was only sport she played until attending Fox Chapel Middle School.

Fox Chapel Tigers

In sixth-grade, she branched out and played jayvee basketball, threw the discus and shot put for the track team and pitched for the Tigers’ softball program.

As a seventh-grader, Lamp added varsity volleyball, varsity basketball, throwing the discus and shot put to playing softball.

As an eighth-grader on the Deltona Avenue campus, she again participated in four varsity endeavors for the Tigers.

Madyson Lamp .Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Yet, when she matriculated to Weeki Wachee, amp had opted to stick solely with softball with two seasons under Charlene Ross.

After transferring to Brooksville’s Hernando High, she played softball for veteran skipper Kevin Bittinger – who ironically hails from Barberton, Ohio – for two seasons and played golf as a senior for HHS’ pitching coach Casey Ellis.

Outside of Tom Varn Park, Lamp was a member of HHS student government association as a junior and senior. She served as secretary as a senior.

She was also a member of DECA Club as a junior and the Pit Crew (peer inclusion team) as a senior.

She graduated with a fine 3.7 unweighted and a weighted 4.0 graded point average.

Her favorite courses included anatomy and physiology at WWHS and pre-calculus and calculus at HHS.

Passion for softball

Despite playing multi-sports, Lamp has leaned on softball as her favorite.

Madyson Lamp attempts to tag a Sickles runner at third, part of two run fourth inning. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

“I love the game. You can play it quick or you can slow it down,” she explained. “I like covering my teammates behind as a hitter or a pitcher.”

When she’s in the circle, “That‘s when I have to throw strikes and trust my defense behind me.

“I’m more of a ground ball pitcher, I’m not a strikeout pitcher.”

The most difficult part of softball, according to Lamp, is mostly outside the lines.

“The toughest part is the mental game,” shared Lamp. “As a pitcher, it’s about preparing myself for each different batter.”

Her assortment of pitches varies. Her repertoire includes a rise ball, drop ball, curveball and an occasional change up.

She admits her strikeout pitch is her drop ball which tails outside.

She doesn‘t throw much inside, “I prefer to stay outside.”

Mirror, mirror

Hernando High’s Madyson Lamp launches a home run vs Steinbrenner. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

On her responsibilities as a hitter, ”My job is to drive runners in. If I can’t do that, I need to at least move them along.”

Describing the type of hitter she is, “I’m the type of player that will take pitches,” stressed Lamp, who led Hernando County batters in walks (30), on-base percentage (.642), homers (9) and slugging percentage (.961).

While most batters get irritated when pitchers pitch around them, Lamp accepts it as part of the game.

“If they intentionally walk me or pitch around me, hopefully the next girl in the lineup will drive me in.”

Recalling her WWHS experience on whether the pressure was strictly on her to produce, “I didn’t let that bother me at Weeki Wachee. We didn’t have the type of team there that we had here.

“… At Weeki Wachee, it was different district, I had to be more heads up.”

“… At Hernando, I could take more pitches. I had no regrets coming here,” noted Lamp. “I loved the team; it was like family.”

Looking back at 2019

Hernando High’s Madyson Lamp reacts to an intentional walk during the FHSAA 5A semi-final versus Coral Springs Charter. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Rewinding the Leopards’ fabulous 27-4 efforts of 2019, “I enjoyed every minute of it. It was an amazing run,” she beamed. “It made me feel happy that this team could leave a mark like we did.”

2018’s regional final loss to Keystone Heights at TVP served as motivation for 2019.

“Losing the year before (3-2) late in the game was a major motivator for the girls this year,” addressed Lamp. “The girls all felt we got this and let’s not make the same mistakes we made the year before. Because of that, I thought we played a little looser at Santa Fe this time.”

Lamp, who swatted 21 career round trippers, may never forget her seventh-inning solo bomb against Santa Fe to topple the Raiders, 1-0.

Madyson Lamp

“I remember I was leading off the seventh and the game was scoreless,” noted Lamp. “All I was thinking about was just getting on somehow. The count was 1-0 and I got an inside changeup. When I connected, I knew I hit it well. I thought it was going out and it did.”

“…I remember crying as I was running the bases. I was so happy inside. Whether we won or lost wasn’t as important as going down with a fight.”

On the Leopards’ initial Final Four since 2001 against Coral Springs Charter, “They ran it up on us a little bit,” recalled Lamp. “They were a lot faster than the most of the teams we played this year. It just seemed like they kept finding our holes.”

Rewinding her last at-bat, a fly ball to right-center that traveled 215 feet or five feet short of the fence, “I was hoping that one would go out. At Varn, it would of. Their pitchers didn’t throw hard, but their location was different each time. I remember the first girl lived on the outside of the plate.“

After the Leopards were eliminated by the Panthers. 6-1.

The next day, Coral Springs locked up its fifth straight Class 5A State Championship besting Marianna.

“I cried afterward,” shared Lamp. “For the seniors, this was our last game. But it was s such a great run. I know I’ll never forget it.“

On what Lamp took away from the trip to Vero Beach, “Nobody wanted to lose to Cypress Creek in the district championship, especially playing at home. That loss fired us up even more. That’s when we won regionals with three tough games all on the road. It showed that we really wanted this.”

Selecting SGSC

After whittling her list of colleges to three, Lamp visited D-III Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, D-II Bloomfield College in New Jersey and Georgia State College in Douglas.

On why she selected the Hawks, “Went I went to Douglas it felt like home,” replied Lamp. “I felt comfortable. The coach was awesome. I was eager to go to school there.”

“The distance – it’s only four hours away – played a huge part,” addressed Lamp, who admits that she’ll be studying business management.

“I was trying decide whether I wanted to go to law school or not,” expressed Lamp. “I like SGSC’s smaller class sizes. They also offer tutoring, if I need it. It’s a school with a high passing rate.”

On the look ahead, “I’m getting myself prepared,” said Lamp. “My academics are important. They should be able to set me up for the rest of my life.

DISTRICT RUNNES-UP – Hernando High walked away with the Class 2A, District 13 girls golf runner-up trophy Hudson’s Meadow Oaks Golf Club. Members of the team include first row (left to right): Victoria Rivera and Ali Shenefield. Back row: Alyssa Forte, Gabby Sietsema and Madyson Lamp. Photo by TONY CASTRO

“Sure, I’m a little nervous about starting out on my own. But I should be fine. The biggest hurdle in front of me could be time management,” she added. “But I’ve been pretty good at getting things done.”

Lamp admits she has to report to campus by Aug. 10. Move in day is Aug. 12.

Before making the trip to Douglas, “I’d like to be remembered as someone who worked hard. As someone who earned a chance to have some big moments – like at Santa Fe,” she said with a smile.

By the Numbers: Madyson Lamp (2016-19)

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

Madyson Lamp’s homer over Keystone Heights during the Class 5A, Region II final at Tom Varn Park. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALOu
 

YEAR

 

YR

 

GP

 

AB

 

R

 

H

 

2B

 

3B

 

HR

 

RBI

 

.AVG

2016*

9

26

75

20

43

4

4

3

19

.573

2017*

10

24

62

21

34

7

3

5

31

.548

2018^

11

29

76

30

43

10

3

5

41

.566

2019^

12

30

77

32

39

6

1

8

41

.506

 

TOT

 

109

 

290

 

103

 

159

 

27

 

11

 

21

 

132

 

.548

* Denotes with Weeki Wachee.

^ Denotes with Hernando.

 

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