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Maddrey more confident in sophomore year

Lauren Maddrey felt more confident in her recent sophomore campaign.

Every new season as a student-athlete comes with opportunity for growth, and the former Nansemond River High School softball standout saw herself grow a lot this season. As a sophomore, Maddrey was able to start every game in the outfield for Radford University. Through the season, she went through some mental hurdles and was able to learn a lot.

She compiled a fielding percentage of .983, which was good for third best on the team. Overall, she felt more confident going into her sophomore season after the experiences from the year before.

“The team chemistry we had this season allowed me to recognize that every one of my teammates had my back,” Maddrey said. “I was able to just go full out on the field. I felt like I progressed mentally and physically this year and was able to overcome different things.”

Radford went 36-19 and advanced all the way to the Big South championship game. The Big South has good competition all the way around. Radford beat Longwood University to reach the championship game, which was a favorite moment of Maddrey’s this season.

“We had only beat them maybe like once in the past seven seasons,” she said. “We ended up going extra innings with them and didn’t get off of the field until 12:30 a.m. The entire time we were playing that game, I knew we would win from the atmosphere and fight we had showed all week that week.”

The biggest thing Maddrey wanted to do was let loose and play, and she felt like she did that, particularly at the end of the season. For her upcoming junior season, she wants to improve her hitting and her mentality. She hopes that in her junior season Radford can have another shot at winning the conference.

“There’s a lot of good competition and pitching in the conference,” she said. “You can never go into the games thinking it is a free one, because a lot of teams are scrappy.”

At Nansemond River, Maddrey was a two-time All-State selection. She was also an All-Conference and All-Region performer and won Conference Player of the Year in 2016. She was part of a talented Nansemond River team that won numerous conference titles, and she was also a recipient of the Suffolk News-Herald Spring Player of the Year award.