Once in a blue moon, an athlete slams into the world of softball completely turning it upside down and shaking it to its core. This is that athlete. Saige Mahar has been playing softball since she was five years old. “I never really had the option not to play,” explained Saige. “My parents told me from day one that I was going to play softball. For most of my softball career, my dad helped coach me and pushed me to become where I am today!” On Tuesday, April 20, Saige’s dream to continue her softball career into college play came true as she signed to play at North Arkansas College in Harrison Ar. Turning in her Lady Bulldog outfit for a Lady Pioneer jersey, Saige will be playing under College of the Ozarks Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Seychelle Mahoney.
Coach Mahoney had this to say about her new softball standout, “While at Northark, Saige will be used as a middle or corner position player. We are excited about her athletic ability on the corner side of the diamond. Saige’s skill level at the plate also excites us. She has a high IQ of softball, and her at-bat percentage proves just that. Saige will be a perfect fit for our program for many reasons. We like her perception of the game, her drive to work hard, and her diligence towards academics. Saige is an amazing representative of current and future Northark student-athletes.”
So far for total season stats, Saige has acquired 18 hits, 17 runs, 7 singles, 4 doubles, and 2 triples. She has 12 RBIs, 9 walks, 1HR, and 12 stolen bases. She is batting a .454 on the season with an OBP of .593 and a slugging percentage of .576. In conference games, Saige is batting a .455 with an OBP of .684 and a slugging percentage of .909. She also has 40 putouts defensively on the season and a .887 fielding percentage. Waldron Lady Bulldogs softball coach, Bailey Moore, added “Saige is the first one to the fields and the last one to leave. She tries to mentor the freshman and she always volunteers to stay and help me work with younger upcoming players after our HS practice is over. She puts in time that is not even asked of her. When we had our big snow, she got our assistant coach out of the house to go hit at the cages.”
“She has taken up switch-hitting this year and has spent nearly the whole season on the left side of the plate, which is not her dominant side. She can hit and bunt from both sides and has taken up slapping from the left. The kid doesn’t take no for an answer. After a game, good or bad, she will sit and analyze. She has future plans to be a coach and I would be honored to coach with her any day of the week! I think she will go far in her career and I hope I never have to coach against her! (Especially since she knows all of my strategies!) She has been faced with a trying season this year, along with her fellow seniors, but not one time have I felt like she gave up. She has a passion to win and I can’t wait to see her further her career!”
As Saige stated earlier, it has been her dad who has been her softball partner in crime. Michael Mahar expressed what he was most proud of when it came to his daughter, “I am proud of everything Saige does! From her school work to playing softball, Saige gives it her all. If she sets a goal, she will work at it until it gets done. She is always willing to put in the work that needs to be done. I am extremely happy that Saige plans on continuing to go to school and play the sport that she loves. I will be upset though because I will not get to be at all the games to watch her play. I am in awe at how far she has come. From watching her first practice at learning how to slap hit to now and watching balls just roll by her in 10U to now making dive catches in just unbelievable!”
Saige’s travel coach, Terry Thomas added, “Congratulations to Saige and her family for her National Signing Day. Saige has always been a hard-working and dedicated team player. She always worked hard for whoever coached her. She has always put the team first and excepted any challenge put in front of her. She has played any position asked of her. I remember one time she even played catcher after our catcher got sick! Saige, you have come a long way since we first met. Continue to practice hard and play hard and great things will come. Go make us proud!”
“I am excited about this opportunity to play college softball as a whole,” concluded Saige. “The thing I love most about the game is the lifelong friendships that come with it. I have made friends from softball that I will be friends with for the rest of my life. I want the young girls that are the age I was when I first started to know that if you push yourself to be better and work hard, good things will come out of it.”
Congratulations Saige from Resident Press and your community on this incredible achievement. Your future is bright and we can not wait to follow you on this new softball journey!