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Female Athlete of the Year: Madison Labrie

  • Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 2019 Female Athlete of the Year Madison Labrie of Mascenic. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Mascenic senior softball pitcher Madison Labrie was named the 2018-19 Gatorade Player of the Year for New Hampshire. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Madison Labrie got her 600th career strikeout at Monadnock in May. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Madison Labrie plays basketball for Mascenic in 2017. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Madison Labrie plays volleyball for Mascenic in 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Madison Labrie ran cross-country for Mascenic in 2015 and 2016. File photo—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Madison Labrie pitches as a freshman in 2016. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Madison Labrie in 2016. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Madison Labrie's parents Jeff and Shelley knew they had a future softball player on their hands when seven-month-old Madison started catching balls before she could talk. Courtesy photo—

  • Madison Labrie pitches against Fall Mountain in 2017. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Sam Hughson celebrates with Madison Labrie after Labrie scored a walkoff run against Prospect Mountain in 2017. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Madison Labrie in 2017. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Madison Labrie was DIvision III Pitcher of the Year in 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Braelyn Case hugs Madison Labrie after Labrie drove in the game-winning run against Conant in 2016. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/3/2019 6:38:58 PM

Mascenic softball pitcher Madison Labrie is a college-bound generational talent who broke the Vikings’ records for career strikeouts and wins and was named New Hampshire’s Gatorade Player of the Year. 

“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime player for a coach,” said Mascenic’s Dutch Stauffeneker, “not just for her abilities as a pitcher but just as a player, relentless in her whole approach to just getting better every day. It just becomes contagious, and other players want to be a Maddie, and work as hard as she does.”

Labrie finished her career with 747 strikeouts and a 58-13 win-loss record, both believed to be school records. 

“Maddie Labrie is the real deal,” Bishop Brady head coach Freddy Rivera told the Gatorade selection committee. “She’s got great movement on the ball and she uses every inch of her frame to whip the ball through the zone. She’s the big reason for that team’s success over the last four years.”

With Labrie on the mound, the Vikings made a semifinal appearance her freshman year, a championship game appearance her sophomore year and another semifinal appearance her junior year before losing in the quarterfinal round this spring.

She’s a big-game pitcher who was at her best in rivalry games against teams like Campbell and Mascenic archenemy Conant. Labrie struck out 105 batters in eight games against Conant throughout her career, over 13 per game; this season, she made 36 of a possible 42 outs against the Orioles by strikeout.

“I feel like I do better pitching against teams that I’m nervous to go against,” Labrie said. “When I pitch against Campbell and Conant, I have the butterflies in my stomach the entire time, and I think that adrenaline makes me play better. I feel like I’m more accurate and I pitch faster when my adrenaline is up.”

Labrie – who burst onto the high school sports scene with an out-of-nowhere second-place finish at the cross-country divisional meet as a freshman – lost her love of running over the years, and made the switch to volleyball in the fall of her senior year.

“I wanted to try something new, I’ve always loved volleyball and I knew it was my last chance to play it,” Labrie said. She came in thinking varsity was a “long shot,” but she made the team and was a serviceable player. The volleyball skillset gave her some new tools on the diamond.

“I can finally dive now,” Labrie said half-joking; she’s always gone hard on the field, but diving comes more naturally to her now after a season of volleyball.

Labrie played basketball throughout high school as well, and her biggest takeaway from that wasn’t any on-the-court skill. New Mascenic head coach Sean Young made her a captain last winter and she rose to the occasion. 

“I feel like I became a little bit more of a leader, which helped in softball,” Labrie said. “I felt like I wasn’t really ready to be a captain but I had to push myself to speak up more. You have to be pushed out of your comfort zone to become better.”

Labrie’s willingness to push her limits and rise to the level of her competition date way back to her youth softball days; after one season as a benchwarmer, she decided she never wanted to sit again, and began a daily pitching routine. 

“When I know I’m not working my hardest, that gets to me, so I’m like ‘I need to work harder,’ because you never know what your potential is until you push yourself to do something that you didn’t know you could do,” Labrie said. 

Of course, she was able to take her game to another level, a rising pitching star fireballing from the mound and coming out of her shell to befriend her teammates (some the same Conant players she’d go on to strike out relentlessly).

“She was really quiet and really shy as a little girl,” said her mother, Shelley, “and that’s what gave her her confidence was being on the mound.”

As a seventh-grader inspired by Milford soccer star and future pro Morgan Andrews, Labrie set her sights on a lofty goal – to win Gatorade Player of the Year, like Andrews. It seemed unattainable at times, but this spring, Labrie was selected, named the top softball player in the state of New Hampshire by the national organization. 

“I was really happy this year getting Gatorade Player of the Year because I knew it would be really hard and I wasn’t expecting to get it,” Labrie said. 

Along with the accolades and the banner for Mascenic’s gym, the Gatorade Player of the Year selection gave Labrie the chance to make a $1,000 donation to a youth sports organization of her choice. She chose Monadnock Youth Softball League, where she’d learned to pitch and made lifelong friends.

“I wanted it to go to girls who can’t afford to play, so it will go to them first,” Labrie said. 

Labrie won a lot more than she lost over her four years, but the defeats sting; however, it’s that pain that motivates her, she said.

“When we lose, it really gets to me,” Labrie said. “I don’t take losses very well, so that pushes me to work harder. Losing in the championship, losing in the semifinals really bothered me. It makes you hungrier to win because you know you could.”

Nothing hurt more than this year’s quarterfinal loss, a pitchers’ duel between Labrie and Megan Kimball-Rhines that saw eventual champion Hopkinton eliminate Mascenic in extra innings. 

“This year was so much fun, and I felt like this was the year we were going to win the championship, and not even making it to Plymouth is really hard,” Labrie said. “I was completely shocked. I was so upset. We could have won a championship but we lost in the quarterfinals to a team we know we could have beat. Even though they deserved it, I know we could have done better.”

Mascenic’s loss may be Franklin Pierce’s gain, in more ways than one; Labrie plans to attend FPU in the fall, study sports and recreation management and pitch for the Ravens’ softball team. 

“She’s got a great opportunity to jump right in and make an impact because of her ability to locate the ball,” Stauffeneker said.

And if that final defeat, that state title left on the table, motivates her like the other losses through her career, pushes her to something greater the next time out, forces her out of her comfort and up to new heights, Franklin Pierce is in for something special indeed.

“I really want to win a championship somehow,” Labrie said. “It’s just such a good feeling working hard and achieving that as a team. You work so hard, it’s got to be for something and for most of us, that’s a championship. We didn’t win one for four years that I was in high school so I hope we can do something in college. It’s going to be hard, but you can do anything if you work your hardest.”


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