By Sam Ojeda / Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College softball team has a new career hits leader.

Third-year sophomore Madison Grimes is leading the 15th-ranked Blue Dragons lineup. Grimes, who is from Andale, has a career total of 178 hits. She passed former hits leader, and HutchCC Quarterback Club Hall of Fame member, Jessica Glenn on Feb. 28 in a game against the Sterling College JV.

Grimes recalls the moments surrounding her special moment. Grimes and assistant coach Ray Aguirre shared a moment over the hit.

“I remember Coach Ray saying how proud he was of me and giving me the biggest hug,” Grimes said. “I had the biggest smile on my face.”

In that same at-bat, Grimes recalls her conversation with Blue Dragons coach Jaime Rose following her home run.

“Coach Rose and I squeezed hands and I said ‘I got you’,” Grimes said. “I hit that home run and as I rounded third I pointed at her and she said ‘I guess you do’.

“I will remember that for the rest of my life.”

Rose has been around Grimes her whole college career. Rose refers to Grimes by her common nickname “Dink” that was given to her because she was born premature, and is the smallest Blue Dragon at 5 feet, 4 inches.

Grimes started her career with a dream freshman season.

“As a freshman, she had a year at the plate that most only dream of and it felt like everything she hit found an open spot,” Rose said.

After hitting over .500 at the plate that season, her still impressive sophomore season was considered a down year for Grimes.

“As a sophomore, she continued to hit the ball solidly. It just didn’t fall as often which led to frustration, and I think that frustration held her back at times,” Rose said about Grimes’ sophomore campaign.

In Grimes’s third – she was granted an extra year due to the Covid pandemic – and final season, Rose has seen tons of mental growth from her leader.

“This year, like usual she hits the ball hard, but when it does not fall, I have seen her overcome that frustration and truly grow as a hitter,” Rose said.

Grimes is the most experienced player on the roster but that also comes with some off field expectations. Rose loves having “Dink” still around and knew she was a crucial piece coming into this season.

“She is a leader by example and always has been,” Rose said. “She knows one speed and it is all out.”

Grimes also loves her role.

“As an experienced player, I feel like I thrive in a team environment,” Grimes said. “I feel like Hutch has given me the opportunity to be myself as a player and as a person.”

As the final year of her Blue Dragon career goes on, Grimes knows what the future has in store for her. Grimes is headed to Missouri Southern State University to continue her softball career. She is planning on majoring in Sports Management.

Grimes said she will forever relish her time at HutchCC.

“The relationship I have built with my coaches, and building lifelong friendships with my sisters is why I have loved every minute being here at HutchCC,” Grimes said.

Grimes will miss Hutchinson and hopes to bring large amounts of success to her team and her school to finish out a great career.

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