Maddrey adjusts and improves

Published 8:40 pm Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lauren Maddrey had a tough transition into college-level softball.

The 2016 Nansemond River High School graduate did not start strong in her first season at Radford University, but she improved by the end of the season.

The 2016 PenSouth Conference Player of the Year is getting ready for her sophomore year at Radford. Her team was 27-28 in 2017, with their season ending in the first round of the Big South Conference tournament.

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Maddrey puts a lot of pressure on herself to perform well, and though she recognized that she got off to a rough start, she soon realized that the more she began to relax, the better she started to play.

Lauren Maddrey made 29 starts out of 40 games played for Radford University during her freshman season this year.
Photo courtesy of Radford University

“I was putting a lot of unneeded pressure on myself,” she said recently. “I started to play more free and found myself at the end of the season.”

In Maddrey’s freshman year of NCAA Division I softball with the Lady Highlanders, her biggest adjustment was learning to manage her time. Practices are longer and workout regimens are more strenuous. And then, of course, there was still school work.

“It was all mental for me my first year,” she said. “Competition-wise I didn’t see anything that I hadn’t seen in high school or travel ball. The play was just on a higher level and more consistent. It was much more of a mental adjustment for me than a physical one.”

Maddrey felt she had found her groove in April, when the Lady Highlanders traveled to Hampton to face Hampton University. Radford won the double-header, and in the second game Maddrey was 2-3 with one run and an RBI. Initially, she didn’t expect to play that game, but when she subbed in she impressed the coach.

“When my coach subbed me in that game I started to feel my confidence come back,” she said. “It might have been that I felt so comfortable being close to home again.”

Now that the former Lady Warrior standout knows what to expect, she feels she will be better prepared for her sophomore season. She wants to improve her hitting and become a lot more consistent.

Her favorite moment from her freshman season was when Radford defeated Winthrop University in a double-header to clinch a berth in the Big South tournament.

Maddrey played in 40 games this season and made 29 starts as an outfielder. She collected 15 hits and 11 runs and had three multi-hit games. In February against Tennessee Tech, she collected her first hit and scored her first run.