GRAFTON—The Grafton High School Softball team concluded their season last month, and for one of their own, it came with some much-deserved postseason acknowledgment.
Frederique Maloley, a freshman standout for the Bearcats, was recognized on both the All-Big 10 First Team and Special Honorable Mention All-State Team.
These honors come after a monster season by Maloley, where she tied or led the team in seven major statistical categories including batting average (.532), hits (42), doubles (6), home runs (3), runs (27), walks (12), and stolen bases (4).
From her leadoff spot she was second on the team in RBI’s (10), behind catcher Aubrey Collins.
I sat down with Maloley and her head coach Tyler Cox to get their thoughts on the season and Maloley’s future in the sport.
To nobody’s surprise she was quick to compliment her teammates and coaches before mentioning herself.
“I am extremely grateful for all of my teammates and each of my coaches. Each player brings something special to our team, whether it’s on or off the field,” she expressed. “That said, I will miss our three seniors this upcoming season. I am very thankful for all of my coaches and everything they sacrifice to make us the best players and young ladies we can be.”
When I spoke to Head Coach Tyler Cox he was quick to praise not only Maloley but also his entire team, as well.
“Our girls work extremely hard” stated Cox. “The ways things are set up now, they don’t get the recognition they deserve. It’s different than it used to be,” he added, referring to the process in which players are selected to the All-Big 10 teams.
“They select one player per position for the 1st and 2nd teams, that’s it. And there is no honorable mention,” Cox noted.
When asked his thoughts on Maloley garnering multiple postseason accolades, Cox was quick to add, “Fred is a well-rounded athlete. She pitched, played short stop and even caught when we needed her to. She learned a lot about herself and her game this year. Like the rest of our girls, she gives her best effort every night out and has a terrific work ethic. She takes it all to heart and looks forward to the next challenge.”
Maloley added, “having mostly sophomores and freshman this past season, it is safe to say that we were a young team but also a very capable team. There were lots of highs and lows, but that is just softball. I fully believe that there are many more highs in our future as long as we continue to grow and move forward as a team.”
Cox agreed and reported that a challenging regular season schedule this season has prepared his team for next season.
“We played some pretty darn good competition this year” Cox stated. “We played Bridgeport, RCB, Lincoln County, a fantastic Coal Grove team from Ohio, and a couple of big AAA schools in Parkersburg South and Spring Valley. We took two trips to southern West Virginia (referring to the Sluggerfest tournament in Huntington and a Cabell Midland tournament) and we took a trip to Keyser as well to play in their tournament.”
I asked Maloley specifically about her coaches and she had plenty of positive things to say about them.
“I am grateful to Coach Cox for his constant dedication to our team and the game of softball. Lots of tough decisions have to be made all season long and I’m grateful for Coach’s desire to do the very best job that he can. I’m proud to say that I have a coaching staff that truly cares,” she said.
“I’m grateful for Coach Taylor (Wyatt) and her approach to things. She always tells you how it is, and when she told us she was either proud of us or that we could have done a better job, we knew she meant it,” Maloley added. “The season would not have been the same without her.” She expressed that she was also very appreciative of all the parents that helped the Lady Bearcats throughout the season.
“They fed us and brought us home after games when we were covered in dirt,” she recalled.
Lastly Maloley spoke about her plans for the summer.
“For the past four summers, I’ve dedicated many weekends to playing travel softball all over the area. Nothing changes as I compete with some of my best friends on the 16U WV Renegades. I will continue to work my summer job, concentrate on school commitments and play travel softball because it is what I love to do.”