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Mascenic pitcher hits elite milestone

  • Mascenic senior softball pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic’s Madison Labrie is congratulated by her teammates, including an exuberant Sam Hughson, after Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic softball team played at Monadnock on Wednesday and senior pitcher Madison Labrie recorded her 600th career strikeout. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, May 13, 2019 3:33PM

Madison Labrie’s relentless pursuit of excellence reached an elite milestone last week, when the Mascenic senior softball pitcher struck out the 600th batter of her high school career. 

Labrie, who hit the 500-strikeout mark last season and was subsequently named Division III Pitcher of the Year, whiffed her 600th on Wednesday as the Vikings defeated Monadnock High School in Swanzey. 

Mascenic head coach Dutch Stauffeneker called the feat “mindboggling.”

“Just admire it, that’s all you can do,” said Stauffeneker, who’s coached Labrie all four of her years at Mascenic. “She’s got to be up there, probably one of the only ones in the history of the school to hit 600.”

Historic softball statistics from any more than 10 or 20 years ago are hard to come by; Labrie’s easily thrown the most strikeouts at Mascenic in the era of computer-driven statistical cataloguing.

Lloyd Sheehan coached the Vikings in the 1980s and 90s; he said he had his share of good pitchers, from Roxanne Corey to Carol Rousseau to Lisa Berry, but that his records literally went up in smoke in a house fire, and exactly how many strikeouts each ended with is unknown. 

“As far as numbers, I couldn't tell you the exact numbers,” Sheehan said. “These kids, if you look back, they could average 4-5 strikeouts a game, minimum.”

Labrie has averaged over 10 strikeouts per game in her career. On Wednesday, she sat down 16 Monadnock Huskies, one short of her career single-game high. 

Senior pitcher Hannah Coppo and her Monadnock teammates could just sit and smile as Labrie took a perfect game into the sixth inning, at one point striking out eight straight Huskies.

“She’s pretty legit,” Coppo said. “She threw a hell of a game.”

Coppo has seen plenty of legit softball players, as the daughter of former ConVal star Ann Marie (Wood) and former ConVal coach Jim Coppo; growing up around the ConVal team, Coppo watched Courtney Fisher as she threw her ConVal school record 775 career strikeouts before graduating in 2015 as the most recent local member of the 600-plus strikeout club.

“The first time I saw [Labrie], I thought ‘There’s another Courtney Fisher in the making,’” Coppo said. “It’s a pretty special moment for her. There aren’t a lot of kids who can do that nowadays.”

Labrie left a screwball up over the plate in the sixth inning that was hit to break up her perfect game; she’d finish the game having surrendered two hits for one run in a 6-1 Mascenic win, and even on the day she reached an elite milestone, she wasn’t satisfied.

“I still have a lot of work that I have to do,” Labrie said. “I kind of lost it at the end of the game.”

Labrie’s all business on the mound, but after she threw her sixth strikeout of the game to reach 600, she had to crack a smile as her teammates surrounded her and Stauffeneker announced her achievement to the Monadnock crowd. 

“It was exciting,” Labrie said. “It was nice to see my team being supportive like that, like they always are.”

Junior Shelby Babin’s been the girl tasked with catching Labrie’s mitt-popping pitches for the past two years, an enviable position given the senior star’s deadly accuracy.

“It makes me kind of nervous, she’s so good,” Babin said. “But it makes it easier for me, because she pitches it right to my glove.”

Babin and her teammates have the ideal senior role model in Labrie. 

“She’s just a good leader,” Babin said. “If somebody’s down, she’ll pick them up.”

Labrie struck out 11 more batters against Somersworth Thursday and then struck out another eight in just three innings at Raymond Saturday, giving her 629 total strikeouts for her career. Mascenic has eight more regular season games and at least one playoff game in their future as Labrie and the Vikings hope for a fourth straight Final Four appearance and maybe, just maybe, a state title. When it’s all said and done, Labrie’s strikeout totals will be even more impressive than they are today.

“500’s an accomplishment,” Stauffeneker said. “600 is elite status. Now we get near 700, and you’re up with maybe one of the best to come through the state in history.”

Labrie will pitch at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge next fall, just down Route 124 from New Ipswich, a next step made possible by her work ethic and support system.

“All my coaches have really pushed me,” Labrie said. “My dad pushes me a lot. He’s never satisfied. I’m never satisfied with anything so I push myself a lot too. My teammates push me. There’s always room to get better so I’m always working toward that.”

Labrie said she wants to go out with a state championship, one last ride for the teammates, coaches and family that have had her back since even before the spring of 2016 when she stepped on the mound for the first time as a freshman. It’s a feeling that an old-school coach like Sheehan remembers well.

“That Mascenic district is definitely one of the special small towns in the state when it comes to tradition, pride, pride in where you’re from,” Sheehan said. “That was a special place. Kids are lucky to be playing in those environments because those kinds of memories, you never forget those.”