Greenwood softball star will play next at Viterbo University
The softball field at George Scherer Athletic Park in Greenwood was quiet Monday afternoon, as it has been all this spring as the coronavirus pandemic has stopped all high school athletic activities. One Greenwood senior was there, though, with a smile on her face as she inked her name to a college letter of intent that will keep her playing her favorite sport for four more years.
Amanda Bogdonovich will take her softball skills to Viterbo University in La Crosse next season. That’s a pleasant thought during a disappointing spring for a player who in 2019 led her team to within a run of its second straight WIAA Division 5 sectional berth. Though she was the Indians’ starting pitcher a year ago, she plans on focusing as a utility player in her college career.
Chad and Jenny Bogdonovich’s daughter started swinging a bat at age 4 in the summer recreation T-ball program. She played at every level possible, and by her high school freshman season, was the starting shortstop for the Greenwood varsity team. She showed already at that age she had the skills, hitting .317 as a freshman and driving in 14 runs. She also saw some innings on the pitching rubber.
As a sophomore, Bogdonovich was still the Indian shortstop, and her .338 batting average, two home runs and 11 RBIs helped her earn Eastern Cloverbelt Conference honorable mention. As a junior, she moved into the primary pitching role and put together an 8-4 won-loss record with a 2.84 earned run average over 133 innings. She also hit .472, belted two home runs, and drove in 23, earning herself first-team all-conference honors.
Greenwood reached the sectional semi-final in Bogdonovich’s sophomore season. In her junior year, Bogdonovich dueled with two Gilman pitchers in a 10-inning regional championship game, which ended in a 1-0 Indian loss. With Bogdonovich and fellow senior starters Lexi Oestreich, Laikyn Johnson and Maddi Raese returning for their final seasons, the Indians were geared up for another run at the sectional level.
That was not to be, though, and Bogdonovich turned her sights forward as she looked for a college.
“I wanted to play softball somewhere,” she said.
While checking out the Viterbo University campus, she reached out to the head softball coach. The coach, in turn, kept in contact, and after watching some highlight videos and seeing Bogdonovich’s high school stats, asked her to join the team next spring.
Bogdonovich may still have a summer on the Marshfield -area regional fast-pitch team, for which she’s played outfield for the past three seasons. That will take her around the state for more game action, unless it too, is cancelled.
She and Oestreich were also selected to play in the annual Wisconsin Fast-Pitch Softball Coaches Association all-star game. That game was originally scheduled for June 18, but has been postponed until a possible date of Aug. 3-4, at the Woodside Sports Complex in Wisconsin Dells.
Whatever the summer brings, Bogdonovich is relieved to know she will have a place to play her favorite sport while she studies nutrition and dietetics at Viterbo. She was a 3-sport athlete at Greenwood, earning second-team all-conference honors in basketball and honorable mention in volleyball as a senior, but a softball diamond is where she’s most comfortable. Her high school coach, Heidi Ashbeck, said she was a role model for the younger players in Greenwood’s program.
“The last two years she has been a leader,” Ashbeck said. “She motivated the other players to step up.”