Maher inks with East Central CC

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Olivia Maher signs a scholarship to East Central Mississippi Community College Wednesday afternoon. With her are her parents Paige and Mark Maher and top, East Ascension head softball coach Amy Pitre and principal Randy Watts.

Olivia Maher is used to having softball lead her on travels to showcase her ability.

Now the game will lead her to East Central Mississippi College after she signed a softball scholarship to play there Wednesday afternoon in EAHS’ softball locker room.

“I liked the whole atmosphere and how small the college was,”?Maher said. “They are very successful and have had a lot of All-Americans graduate from there.”

East Central is located in Decatur, Miss., which has a population of 1,400.

“I think I will fit in well,”?Maher said.  “Junior colleges transfer kids into the four-year schools. Hopefully it will lead to something else. I think it will be nice.”

Maher has started at East Ascension since she was a freshmen earning first-team All-District 6-5A honors last season after batting .241 with three RBIs and five runs scored in district play.

She earned Class 4A first-team All-State honors as a sophomore leading the district with a .619 batting average while being named the 7-4A Offensive MVP.

“(Softball) is my life,” Maher said. “I have played every summer since I was 12 years old and have traveled all over the country.”

Maher, a primary outfielder who has played second base,  has participated on travel teams since 2004 helping teams win State Championships and advancing to World Series.

“I got to see Olivia in a showcase and was very impressed with the things that I saw,” ECCC head softball coach Scott Hill said. “After having a chance to talk with her and her family, they are quality people. When we go out looking for quality players we look for quality people as well.”

East Ascension head coach Amy Pitre said Maher can hit throughout the lineup and play several positions.

“Her hitting is definitely the difference maker,” Pitre said. “When she is hitting the ball right, that will get her on the field I think anywhere. She has been moved around a lot but that is because she is very versatile.

“They are getting a kid that is determined to be successful. She is a workaholic. There are times after practice where you can see she and her dad out there hitting for another hour. They are going to get the most out of her. I know that.”

Maher, the daughter of Mark and Paige Maher, said it is her father who inspires her. 

“My dad has coached me since I was six years old,” Maher said. “I have always looked up to him. He has always pushed me to play and I have always enjoyed it.”

Maher said there are many memories she has from East Ascension but is hoping one more will be made this season with a trip to the State Tournament in Sulphur. 

“This team is very close and there are a lot of things we have accomplished but we have one more goal,” Maher said.