(Here is some of the recent article about my sister Maggie from our local newspaper, The Suburban Journal.
Written by Bill Hester.)
The University of Michigan has a All-American room at their softball complex with photos of all of the All-Americans in the school's history.
Former Eureka High School standout Maggie Viefhaus will have her photo there after a stellar collegiate career and spectacular senior season.
But Wolverine coach Carol Hutchins has her personal wall of fame. And Viefhaus has earned a spot there as well.
"My wall of fame has more to do with character than softball ability and trust me, Maggie will be there forever," said Hutchins, who has coached at Michigan for 26 years. "There is not enough space in your column when it comes to talking about Maggie. She always has a smile on her face and I will miss that a lot. She is the kind of kid you look forward to seeing every day. She was a great representative of the University of Michigan."
And a great softball player as well as she was named Big Ten Conference co-Player of the Year (with teammate Nikki Nemitz) for the Wolverines, who won the Big 10 for the third year in a row this spring.
Viefhaus was a fixture in the Wolverine lineup since her freshman season in 2007. In fact, she played in all 236 games for Michigan the last four years and started every one of them at third base.
"When you combine Maggie's talent and her work ethic you have something special," Hutchins said. "She excelled from the middle of her junior year until the end of her senior season. She played at an All-American level."
Viefhaus had solid offensive numbers her first three years, hitting .277 as a freshman, .306 as a sophomore and .313 as a junior. But she saved her best for last with some mighty impressive statistics as a senior. She hit .381 and had 20 home runs and 60 RBI in 57 games. That helped her earn NFCA All-Great Lakes Region first team and NFCA All-America second team honors. She was especially effective in Big 10 play, leading all players in the league with a .478 average in league play.
Her best game came in the regional finals in a 12-2 win against Notre Dame.
"I had two home runs in my first two at-bats," said Viefhaus, who was subsequently walked three times by Irish pitchers.
That helped the second-ranked Wolverines make it to the sub-regionals where their season and Viefhaus' collegiate career came to an end with two losses to Tennessee.
"All of my hard work paid off," said the left-handed hitting Viefhaus, who played in the College World Series last year.
She had plenty of offers coming off a spectacular high school career with Eureka, where she was a three-time all-state selection. She knows now that it is over that she made the right choice in Michigan.
Viefhaus is taking one class this summer at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and will student teach in Ann Arbor in the fall. She is in line to graduate in December.
Her major is in physical education and coaching could well be in her future.
She is giving hitting and fielding lessons this summer and is also an unofficial coach to her six nieces and nephews (her older sisters Marta, Adie and Haley all played at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale).
"My niece, Mia, is six and she loves to play," Viefhaus said. "I got her a softball bat for her sixth birthday and, yes, I am teaching her to hit left-handed."
Pretty awesome, right?
Mia especially loved that her name was mentioned.
She walked around smiling from ear to ear after reading the last paragraph.
She is so proud to be Maggie’s niece!