Athlete Spotlight: Maddie Mantegani


Photo taken by Frank Poulin Photography.

-Lorenzo DeMalia

Sports at Fitchburg State are back! After a yearlong hiatus between games, FSU student-athletes are allowed to return to the field and do what they love most. For freshmen and most sophomores, this is their first real chance to compete at the college level since the pandemic hit. That leaves a lot of questions, and excitement about what these athletes can bring to the university. 

Madison Mantegani is a sophomore who is certainly not new to softball but is limited in her experience playing for FSU. Maddie has been lighting it up on the field for the past decade as a center fielder playing high school ball for Bellingham Highschool. While her defense is noteworthy with above-average speed and range in the outfield, her hitting stands out for her ability to do it all at the player. Her bat control is phenomenal, it allows her to be a well-rounded hitter with the ability to choke up on the bat and hit a single to the opposite field, or let it rip and drive the ball into the gap. This has helped her develop her game as a slap hitter which makes every bat tough on the opposing pitcher. The ability to contribute on both sides of the ball at a high level earned her Maxpreps’s National Athlete of the Month. Despite building an impressive resume on the field during her high school career, one game in particular cemented her dream to continue playing softball heading into college. 

“The game that stood out most to me was the game I got recruited for college at,” said Mantegani. “It was one of the best games I’ve ever played, I had a really good day at the plate and made every play I could in the field.”

Performing when the lights are the brightest is just another checkbox in a long list of them for one of the more complete athletes at FSU. One thing that can’t be measured or tracked on the field is passion, for Maddie, it’s just a part of who she is. 

“When I was younger I was a gymnast for the longest time but eventually I started getting into other sports including softball” Said Mantegani. “The first time I truly fell in love with softball was when I first threw someone out at home plate as an outfielder. It was during youth ball and that day I knew I wanted to play softball for as long as I could” 

This drive to not only play softball but to be the best at what she does every day still very much lives in her. During a year off from sports a lot of athletes might have lacked motivation to continue working, and with good reason. For Maddie though being able to put on the uniform, and step onto that outfield grass is all the motivation she needs. 

“Honestly what motivates me is softball has always been my safe haven, it’s always been my way to get away from reality, it’s my happy place,” Said Mantegani. “No matter what mood I am in, softball has always been my go-to, it’s my passion.”

If anyone has seen Mantegani play there’s no denying the intangibles she possesses on the field. There’s a fire she has every at-bat, every flyball, every play that can’t be described as anything else than passion. Despite being a self-motivated player, Maddie made sure to emphasize a few people who have played a factor in helping her become the player she is today. 

“My club coach Katie Holbrook was a huge factor in making me the player I am today. I owe a lot to her and her wife Kelsey who was also one of my coaches and taught me how to slap hit” Said Mantegani. “Also my parents and family have always been there to support me in whatever way I need.” 

While time is not something that student-athletes have an abundance of, Maddie makes the most of it when she’s not working on perfecting her craft. Her ability to get creative at the plate as a slap hitter highlights her creative personality as a whole. Whether it’s painting, photography, or simply creating something, her love for creating is only second to softball. 

At the end of the day, the way she plays the game of softball is a reflection of how she lives her life. Hard work, passion, and most of all: talent. They’ll be plenty of opportunities for Maddie to shine this season and showcase herself as an artist on and off the field. This is just the start of what hopes to be a memorable college career.