One on one with CM alumni and Lycoming softballer Madison Brown
BY SCOTT BAKER
Central Mountain softball has had its share of success.
Likewise Lycoming College has seen some good ball played as well over the years. A common denominator in some of that recent success has been McElhatten resident, Madison Brown.
Brown is a 2016 graduate of Central Mountain High School and a current member of the Lycoming College softball team. Brown, who will enter her senior year in August, is a math/computer science major with a 3.91 GPA. This past season for the Warriors, Madison started all 36 games at second base while serving as the leadoff hitter for her team. As such she hit her way to a .371 average and was second on the team in both hits with 43 and runs scored with 24. Along the way, she registered 11 two-hit games and became just the third player in program history to reach 100 hits as a junior.
Madison recalled that 100th hit as her most memorable personal sports moment to this point in her career. Many athletes play at the high school level and even do so successfully yet are unable to find success at the next level.
Not so for Madison Brown.
She did the extra things necessary in order to prepare her to play at the collegiate level. Madison said of her time in high school, “Outside of the high school team I played on multiple travel teams throughout the spring and summer, which allowed me to play at least an extra 35 games a year. Most summers I played in an older age group, exposing me to better competition, helping to make me a better player. The summer after I graduated I played on a college-level travel team, and this helped me realize what competition I would be playing with and against for the next four years.”
For a high school athlete to transition successfully to the next level, realizing the difference is key.
When asked what she sees as the major differences between high school and college, she responded, “College athletics involves a lot more commitment of your time and energy than high school athletics do. The hours you spend at practice, games, and working out during the offseason add up quickly, so it becomes crucial that you balance your time between academics and athletics.”
Oh yeah, the offseason. The time that a player might become lazy and lose their edge.
Not Madison Brown.
She said of her offseason routine, “During the offseason our assistant coach creates workouts for us to do that involve lifting, long-distance running, sprinting and cross fit exercises. When we don’t have anything assigned, I workout as much as I can on my own.”
Yes, it is a time that athletes must be disciplined because while coaches can provide workout routines for players, they can’t have contact with them. They are on their own to get it done. It is quite obvious from her on-field performance that Madison is in fact getting in done.
So what motivates her to continue to work?
“My underlying motivation stems from wanting to be the best player that I can be, and wanting to help our team succeed overall. In addition to that, my motivation also comes from personal goals that I have each season. For instance, during my freshman year it came from wanting to become a starter, last year it was to reach my 100th hit, and for my senior year it comes from wanting to become an all-conference player while seeing my team make the playoffs,” said Brown.
For all of her success on the diamond, Madison has faced challenges. Of those challenges she said, “One of the biggest challenges I have faced was developing into a leader on the team when I was voted as a captain last year. I have never really been an outspoken or vocal person, so it was an adjustment having to step up into a leadership role.”
However, despite any challenges that her sport offers her, she said, “Regardless of the wins, losses, and outcomes of our seasons, my favorite part of playing softball is being able to do it with my best friends. The memories I have made at 6am’s, during practices and on bus rides are irreplaceable, and none of our successes as a team would be as enjoyable without having those relationships.”
Ironically Madison does have one regret in terms of sports. She said, “In high school I played both volleyball and softball, and if I could do one thing over again I would have played volleyball in college as well as softball.”
That surely could be viewed as a piece of advice for young athletes.
“I would tell them to make sure they are playing a sport in college because they love it and they should be prepared for the increased commitment that is required by college athletics. For me, all the time spent training and competing in my sport is worth the reward of the lifelong friends who I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” said Brown.
As for her final season at Lycoming Madison said, “It’s bittersweet to think that I will be playing my last softball games this coming season, so one of my goals is to enjoy every second of it. My goal as far as the team, and my playing abilities, are for us to make the conference playoffs and to earn all-conference honors.”
An exciting season awaits Madison Brown and her Lycoming teammates. Surely when the final out is recorded on her softball career she will sit back and smile at the memories she has from the many innings played on the diamond.
Until then she will just keep hitting her way to new heights at Lycoming.