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Cibola’s Mathews signs letter of intent with NIU

Harold and Madison Mathews Madison Mathews’ journey from Cibola High School to Northern Illinois University has just gotten underway, but it’s something the senior softball star has been working towards for most of her life.

Mathews, who signed her letter of intent on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 in a private ceremony, intends to major in Public Administration/Public Policy at NIU before entering law school.

“The softball coaching staff at Cibola are thrilled with Madison's Division I scholarship to Northern Illinois University,” longtime CHS softball coach Shelley Baumann said. “She is a great student-athlete who has put tons of time into her academic career and athletic career. Because of the time and sacrifices she has been awarded with a scholarship.”

She will wrap up softball career in the spring of 2021 before heading to Dekalb, Illinois next fall.

“As parents we taught our daughter to work hard for goals,” her father, Harold Mathews, said.

Work hard she has. In her time at Cibola, Mathews has earned two Associates Degrees from Arizona Western College (Science and Political Science) completing 88 AWC credits in concurrent enrollment courses. She has been a three-year member of the National Honor Society, volunteered for countless organizations around Yuma County, and has excelled as a three-sport athlete, playing volleyball and basketball in addition to softball.

Still, the softball field is where she’s seen the most individual and team athletic success. She’s been a four-year varsity athlete, helping the Lady Raiders amass a record of 60-16 since 2018. In 75 games played, she’s batted .444, including 42 career extra-base hits, with 79 Runs Batted In and 79 runs scored, according to MaxPreps, while playing multiple positions.

“Madison has a high IQ when it comes to situational softball,” Baumann added. “She has the power that it takes to hit at the next level and can play anywhere on the field which makes her very versatile.”

Mathews is one of four national recruits headed to NIU for the 2022 season.

NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe said, "Coming from Arizona, Madison has year-round softball competitive experience that will benefit her once on campus. She is a true utility player that has played every position on the field except pitcher. We look forward to the run production and power that Madison is capable of adding to our offensive lineup."

The Huskies went 7-15 in 2020, but the second half of the season, including the Midwestern Athletic Conference (MAC) tournament, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Madison Mathews

Eric Patten