Hintz, Fink set to compete in NJCAA National Tournament
Portage County Gazette
By John Kemmeter
Former Pacelli Catholic High School standout Paige Hintz and former Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) standout Maddie Fink, both freshmen for the Madison College softball team, will play in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Clinton, Miss., Wednesday through Saturday, May 22-25.
An Almond native, Hintz was a two-time Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association All-State selection and the Central Wisconsin Conference (CWC) South Player of the Year in 2018 for Pacelli, where she was a four-year starter at catcher. She helped the Cardinals reach the WIAA State Tournament three times, and win the WIAA Division 4 State Title in 2015 when she was a freshman.
Fink was a pitcher and first baseman for SPASH, where she was a member of the 2016 WIAA Division 1 State Championship team as a sophomore. She missed her junior season due to an injury, but returned last season to earn Second Team All-Wisconsin Valley Conference honors as a senior.
Then ranked eighth in NJCAA Division II, Madison carried a 38-10 record into the NJCAA Region IV Tournament in Freeport, Ill., Saturday, May 11, where Hintz drove in the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning to give Madison a 2-1 lead over Triton College (Ill.).
Meanwhile, Fink walked two and struck out four over four no-hit innings to earn the win, as Madison went on to a 4-1 victory.
That sent Madison to the semifinals, where Hintz had a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the team an 8-0, run-rule, walk-off victory over Prairie State College (Ill.) and a trip to the Championship Game.
There, Fink earned the start in the circle and struck out seven, walked one and allowed only two hits over four shutout innings to earn the win, while Hintz went 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI in Madison’s 7-0 win over Prairie State that sent the team to the National Tournament for the second year in a row and the second time in program history.
Sixth-ranked and eighth-seeded Madison is set to open the 16-team, double-elimination, National Championship Tournament against ninth-seeded Johnson County Community College (Kan.) at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, while the National Championship Game is set for 1:30 p.m. Central Saturday, May 25.
A second baseman/catcher, Hintz is batting .374 this season with nine doubles, one home run and 24 RBI, with nine walks and only four strikeouts.
Fink is hitting .273 in 22 at bats, while she is 15-2 in the circle with a 2.09 ERA, as she has struck out 91 in a team-high 107 innings pitched this season.