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Rachel Baker, center, of Madison Academy signed a softball scholarship with Mercer University at a ceremony held at Madison Hospital. Baker signed her scholarship at the medical facility due to her father, Richard, left, being a patient. Her mother, Melanie, right, was also in attendance. Photo- Madison Hospital

Madison Academy’s Rachel Baker Signs Scholarship At Madison Hopsital

MADISON- In a most unusual occurrence, Madison Academy senior softball player Rachel Baker recently signed her college scholarship with Mercer University at Madison Hospital. She chose the location so her father could be alongside the proceedings as he is currently recuperating from undergoing stomach surgery.

“He has been in and out of the hospital since August with a stomach infection and surgeries,” said Baker, whose mother, Melanie, was also part of the special event.

The infielder for the Mustangs chose the Mercer Bears program over four other schools and will study biology with a minor in chemistry with her sights set on advancing to the medical field upon graduation from Mercer. She currently has a 4.27 grade point average, which puts her sixth in her senior class.

Baker (5-foot-5, 130 pounds) was a Class 4A First Team All-State selection a season ago where she batted .552 with 64 hits, 12 homeruns, 55 RBIs, 43 runs and only seven strikeouts in 40 games. She plays mainly third base, but can play anywhere in the infield she needs to play.

Her trek to softball stardom began in baseball where she played with boys from age six to nine before transferring to softball. She has been with the Madison Academy program since seventh grade. Many of her teammates through the years nicknamed her “Scrappy” as she is super determined to make every play to perfection.

Baker has played just about every sport imaginable and is currently preparing for competing in the 2019 CrossFit National Competition scheduled for Jan 17-21 in Miami. She has competed in the multi-skilled sport for a year and a half.

“I also enjoy art, especially my paintings,” added Baker.

The just completed summer was not an enjoyable one for Baker as she suffered from severe back pain and was finally diagnosed with “spondylolisthesis” which is a congenial condition she was born with. The pain comes from a vertebrae which slips forward in the spine. She has undergone two spinal injections since September.

“I overcame that with the injections and I notice a big difference,” said Baker. “I’m looking forward to my senior season at Madison Academy. I’m glad I was able to sign with both my parents looking on.”

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