Madison Fraley: ‘Eighth graders want to be like her’
For Madison Fraley, the stage was set.
Fraley was primed and ready for her senior season after a junior campaign in which she hit .429 last season and accepted a captain’s role that would extend to this season.
The catcher had been a member of the Konkrete Kids varsity program since her freshman year and anticipated a banner year for her team. The Kids had a 19-6 record last year and were surprised by Whitehall in districts.
Fraley entered the season with a career .398 average with eight homers, 52 RBIs, and 76 hits over three seasons.
Like her teammates and countless others, Fraley was pulled off the stage in mid-March due to the pandemic.
“Now, I just try and stay positive and work out as much as I can,” said Fraley recently. “We all never know what could have happened this year. I’ve learned to accept it.
“I really worked hard in the offseason with it being my senior year. I wanted to work on my hitting, concentrating more on my form and hitting off a tee.
“It’s sad because we all were very excited about the possibilities. We were really trying to build off last year.”
Head coach Kristy Henritzy also was enthusiastic about Fraley and her team’s chances in 2020.
“She (Fraley) would have been a four-year starter and is a phenomenal leader,” said Henritzy. “Eighth graders want to be like her, and her teammates respect her. She would have gotten her 100th hit this season.
Fraley knows the bond between fellow seniors Madison Biechy and Jordan Geroulo won’t be broken anytime soon.
“Jordan and I have played together since we started in the Northampton AA and Madison played in the Lehigh Township AA,” said Fraley. “We have been together for a long time. We are all very close, and we all know what we can do.
“We have given everything we have through the years, and we were ready to do the same this season.”
Yet, there is still a silver lining to the story. Fraley will continue her career at Kutztown University beginning in the fall when she also will pursue a degree in early childhood education.
“I really felt at home on the campus,” said Fraley about her college choice. “There is a great team atmosphere, and I fell in love with the campus.
“Most people I know made their decision in their junior year, but I wanted to take my time. But it really wasn’t a big decision once I saw it.”
“Maddie and I have a special connection because she wore orange and black and now will wear maroon and gold just like I did at Kutztown,” added Henritzy.
Fraley had aspirations of becoming a teacher at a young age, and her family also played a big part.
“When I was little, my friends and I would play school and I always was the teacher,” she recalled. “I knew that is what I want to do.
“I also have two uncles who are gym teachers, and they have told me how much they enjoy it.”
Fraley traces her softball beginnings back to T-ball. She also was active in her early youth with soccer and basketball, but softball eventually took the top spot.
“My mom (Mandy) and dad (Chris) played softball and baseball,” she said. “They showed me everything that I needed to do and I began to really appreciate the game. I am always grateful to them for that and always being there.
“In seventh grade, I really began to focus on softball. I put more time into it and began playing travel ball.”
Fraley is very anxious to begin her next venture, but she may be looking at a new spot on the field.
“They (Kutztown coaches) haven’t told me where I would be playing yet,” she said. “As a freshman, it is still open for me and the rest.
“I have been working out on my own and doing what I can. I just miss playing, but I know it will be back soon.”