The bases were loaded with no outs in a 0-0 ballgame in the third inning. Then, senior shortstop Maddie Amos stepped to the plate. Amos battled through the entire at-bat until there was a full count. She took a deep breath as she stepped into the next pitch, and this time she hit a hard line drive. Initially, she did not think it was going over the wall. She ran down the line as if it was going to be a hit in the left-center gap but then started to trot around the bases once it was gone.
The bases were loaded with one out in the fourth inning. Amos stepped into the plate again. She gripped her bat tightly and on a 2-1 count got a pitch high and inside that she immediately turned on. Unlike her first grand slam, this home run was a no-doubter. The team raced to home plate where they greeted her with smiles on their face and their arms raised high in disbelief.
When Amos finished trotting around the bases for a second time she got a rare hug from her twin sister, senior catcher Lily Amos.
“I did not think she was going to hit another grand slam, not because I did not think she can, but it is so crazy to hit two in back-to-back at-bats,” Lily said.
After starting the season 0-13, Maddie and Lily have provided a spark to the Cal Poly softball team with their performances and leadership. They not only pushed their team over the hump but have also helped the Mustangs jump into fourth place in the Big West after winning ten consecutive conference games.
“No situation is too big for them,” head coach Jenny Condon said. “If the game is on the line and we need a hit, it is great to have one of the two of them up at the plate.”
The Amoses grew up in Roseville, California where they played on the same team for every sport they tried. They knew they did not want their inseparable bond from birth to break when they went to college, so they decided to both go to Cal Poly.
“Especially going to college, it is new and intimidating and I think having someone like your best friend who you are comfortable around made it that much better,” Lily said.
Maddie echoed Lily’s sentiments about going to college together.
“I cannot imagine having it any other way,” Maddie said. “I love having her here constantly.”
The two sisters came into the program, had an immediate impact and were still inseparable on the field.
Lily earned Big West Conference All-Freshman Team after co-leading the program with three home runs, starting 35 games and appearing in 46 matches. Meanwhile, Maddie started during all of her 39 appearances.
Now, as seniors on the team, the two twins have stepped into a greater role on the team. When the Mustangs could not pull out a win in its first 13 games, the Amoses showed their leadership game in and game out.
“They have shown their leadership by staying calm and executing when we need them to do that,” Condon said. “They have really been leading by example on gameday.”
While Lily “has always been the more outspoken one,” according to Maddie, Lily has seen her sister take on a bigger leadership role.
“I think for Maddie she has taken on a bigger leadership role and she has really made a big impact on the team both on and off the field which I think is a big step for her,” Lily said.
Maddie also praises Lily’s prominent leadership since they were freshmen.
“Since we were freshmen she always led with her voice,” Maddie said. “The team would not be the same if it were not for her and her presence, leadership and getting everyone fired up.”
In addition to their leadership, the Amoses have made play after play during the Mustangs’ win streak which started after a 7-6 comeback win against rival UC Santa Barbara.
“I think coming six runs behind in that Santa Barbara game was a huge momentum changer for our program,” Condon said. “We have not traditionally been able to pull that out, but to come back and win was huge for us because they got the payoff.”
Maddie was named Big West Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks after her performances in sweeps against Hawai’i and Cal State Bakersfield. In the series against Hawai’i, Maddie batted .500 while compiling nine RBIs. In the following week, her two grand slam game matched the NCAA record for most grand slams in a game and set a new program record with eight RBIs.
“[Maddie] is definitely one of the reasons why we have been in games and why we have been able to pull out some big wins,” Condon said.
Maddie has become one of the most dominant players in the conference as she leads the Big West in RBIs (38), third in home runs (7) and second in batting average (.392).
While her sister has received a lot of accolades during the team’s success, Lily has continuously been one of the best Cal Poly hitters. In her sophomore and junior seasons, Lily batter over .300 and is currently fourth on the team in batting average.
“Lily came in and has been hitting lights out for us the entire time she has been in the program,” Condon said.
Maddie and Lily have built up an impressive resume during their four years at Cal Poly and have helped the team earn a chance at competing for the regular-season conference title. However, their accomplishments including Maddie’s two grand slam game would not be the same without each other.