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Cranford ’21 slugs softball team to 3-0 week

Bears catcher goes 7-10 with a home run at NC A&T Aggie Inviational last weekend

Catcher Madi Cranford ’21 has kicked off her sophomore softball season with a bang, going 14-18 at the plate in Brown’s first seven games. This past week, she led the Bears to a perfect 3-0 record at the North Carolina A&T Aggie Invitational, racking up seven hits and four RBI in the tournament. Cranford had a standout game against North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, in which she went 4-4 and launched a two-run home run. She also put up solid performances in victories over Rider University and Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. For her breakout start to the season, Cranford has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: You’ve started off your sophomore season on a very strong note. Talk about how you’ve improved from your last campaign.

Cranford: I’m just a lot more mentally stable at the plate. I’m just thinking, ‘hit the ball.’ The coaching change has definitely helped. (Head Coach Kate Refsnyder) is very strong. She helps me focus, and it’s just been a world of difference.

After a 1-3 first week, the softball team reeled off three straight wins at the North Carolina A&T Aggie Invitational. How has the team turned things around?

We were a lot more aggressive at the plate and confident in what we wanted to do. The pitching was a lot better; (the pitchers) were very consistent hitting their spots. As a team, we’re just wanting to win rather than fighting to win.

Looking ahead to next week’s University of South Florida Invitational, how can you and your team keep up the momentum?

As long we just stick with our plans, don’t make any mental errors and stay focused the whole game, I think we’ll do just like (we did) last weekend.

What do you consider your greatest strength as a softball player?

I consider my greatest strength to be my energy I bring to the field. I’m always yelling, cheering, making sure everybody’s involved in the game. I feel like my energy helps boost the rest of the team’s energy.

Do you have any rituals or superstitions you follow while you play softball?

I have a few, there’s actually too many to mention. One big one is I wear the same sliders every game and I don’t wash them.

What are your individual and team goals for the rest of the season?

Personally, I’d like to just stay consistent with my hitting and catching. For the team, we’re just hoping to have a good showing. We’re trying to get at least middle of the pack as compared to last, and I think we can achieve that. I think we can be in the upper level of the Ivies.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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