Spotlight on outstanding seasons from Maddie Kaczmarczyk, Aidan Allred

Kaczmarczyk, Allred top stat categories on conference, classification level


While scrolling through baseball and softball stats this season, it won’t take long to see the names “Maddie Kaczmarczyk” and “Aidan Allred.”

Whether it’s by conference, class or association, they’re at or near the top, depending on where you look.

For Kaczmarczyk, a freshman for the Chatham Central softball team, that’s true in the pitching categories. As of Monday, the young ace has thrown 111 strikeouts which leads the Mid-Carolina 1A/2A conference and is good for second in the 1A East classification. Her ERA of 1.35 and her nine wins also lead the conference and are top five numbers in 1A East.

In Chatham Charter baseball senior Allred’s case, one would have to look at the batting stats. As of Monday, Allred’s .574 batting average is second in the Central Tar Heel 1A conference (he’s had 32 more at bats than the first place holder), and it’s top 10 in 1A East. His 30 RBIs lead the conference, lead 1A East and are third in the NCHSAA, and his five home runs also top the conference and classification.

Both athletes are putting up some of the best numbers in the state while also contributing to successful years for their respective teams, so far. Here’s a deeper dive into each of their seasons and what’s driving their prosperity at the mound and at the plate:

Maddie Kaczmarczyk

Despite already knowing about Kaczmarczyk’s talent from coaching her in middle school at J.S. Waters, Chatham Central head coach John Warf was still nervous coming into the 2024 season with her and two other freshmen as his three pitchers.

“When you have freshmen come in, they feel like they either have to prove themselves, or they’re not accepted,” Warf said. “We’ve tried to bring a different mentality this year of ‘Hey, without these freshmen, we wouldn’t have anybody to pitch.’”

With credit to her teammates for taking the pressure off with their own outstanding play and their uplifting support, Kaczmarczyk has confidently excelled in her demanding role as the ace, so far.

“I have a great team,” Kaczmarczyk said. “I don’t have to worry about just being able to throw it in there. I’ll be able to throw all my pitches…and I can trust the team behind me.”

She’s come up big in many games, notably in the Bears’ 3-2 win over Eastern Guilford on April 6. Kaczmarczyk pitched nine innings and allowed just four hits and zero earned runs while bringing in the game-winning run on her first career home run.

Her dominance has been consistent, winning nine games and taking zero losses as of Monday. By that same time, Kaczmarczyk has yet to allow more than eight hits in a game this year while also failing to give up more than three hits in four out of her 11 appearances.

In Kaczmarczyk’s arsenal, there’s a handful of different, effective pitches she can throw at batters, which may be why it’s hard to hit off her.

“I have a pretty good rise ball,” Kaczmarczyk said. “I throw a curveball. My changeup is pretty good, so I can throw a few movement pitches that work pretty well for me.”

Aidan Allred

Compared to his junior and sophomore seasons in which he played 18 and 19 games, respectively, Allred, 15 games into his senior season as of Monday, has already passed his batting numbers from those years.

Allred, a switch-hitter, has already reached career-highs in RBIs, home runs, and is on pace to earn a career-high in hits. He credits his extra work outside of practice and playing with Chatham Charter’s fall team, which helped him add another gear to his game that has made all the difference this season.

“I think I can hit the ball in all parts of the field a lot better than I could the past few years,” Allred said. “I was more of a pull hitter my first three years.”

Chatham Charter baseball head coach Bill Slaughter said the improvement makes Allred “much harder to defend” as teams used to essentially shift their defense on him to better their chances at an out.

“They’d have two outfielders on the right side of the outfield and slide the infielder,” Slaughter said. “But, now he’s hitting the ball left. He’s hitting the ball gap to gap and hitting the ball well.”

It’s even showing up on the deep balls this season as Allred has hit two home runs to his backside —something he didn’t do last year. He also hit a home run out of Chatham Charter’s field for the first time in his career against Lee Christian on March 25, and it also sailed to the right.

“That’s one of the very few balls hit out of here in right field since I’ve been out here,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter is in his eighth year as the Knights’ head coach.