Quakertown's Wilkinson to Play Softball at Susquehanna

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2024, Quakertown senior Mary Wilkinson was recognized for committing to continue her softball career at Susquehanna University.

Mary Wilkinson - Susquehanna University (Softball)

Major:  Biology

Reasons for choosing Susquehanna: “I chose Susquehanna because the community of students and professors is extremely welcoming. The softball coach and the teammates immediately made me feel valued and comfortable to the point where I strongly wanted to contribute to the Susquehanna softball program. The Susquehanna River, the campus buildings, and the beautiful trees create a gorgeous campus that I could immediately imagine myself being a part of. The town reminded me of my hometown, adding to the homey feeling of the university. Most importantly, Susquehanna has a successful STEM program where I believe I will receive a great education in my biology major by professors who care about me.”

What was the progression that led you to competing in softball at the collegiate level? “I have been playing softball since I was very young, with the dream to play college softball. Throughout my softball career, I faced many hardships that motivated me to prove people wrong and become the best softball player I could be. Making varsity as a freshman was a great accomplishment of mine, and having the privilege of playing high level high school softball gave me a taste of what it could be like to play at the collegiate level. While this set me up for success, I knew I needed to reflect on what God’s plan really was for me and take time to figure out if softball really made me happy.
“With much emotional struggle, I decided to take the summer between my sophomore and junior year off from softball. This was my first time without softball in about nine years, which was terrifying. I had a great summer full of great memories, happiness and laughter. However, God drew me to continue my softball career, and I’m so grateful I listened. In my junior year, I worked very hard and improved in a lot of areas while also realizing that my love for softball will continue into college. This is when I decided I wanted and was able to play collegiate softball. The summer after junior year is when I started my recruiting process, attending many camps and clinics to put my name out there. I received my offer to be part of the Susquehanna softball team on Sept. 23, 2023, and happily accepted on Nov. 22, 2023.”

Coach Eric Medlin says: “Imagine all the lights in this room go out – it probably would create some chaos, and some would have a hard time making it out safe. We rely on light to guide us and help us see. People, specifically great leaders, can also be light in this world. Mary Wilkinson is a true soul that not only guides others but also lifts them high and fills the world up bright like a shining light. Through the game of softball, I’ve been blessed to be around Mary since she was eight years old. I’ve been coaching the sport about 20 years, and I can say she is probably one of the most natural leaders I have ever coached, a classic example of the first person to show up and the last person to leave. Mary works hard and will do whatever she’s asked for her team.
“Mary’s freshman year she came to the high school as a standout catcher for her travel team. Quakertown had several options at catcher that year, so coach Dave Scott challenged Mary to try first base, probably the only position she didn’t have experience at. She didn’t complain, she didn’t use any excuses, she didn’t feel sorry for herself. Instead, she fully embraced it and worked as hard as she could. (Fast forward) to her junior year and she’s awarded first team all-league at first base, and she’s the heartbeat of a team that goes 20-0 in the (regular) season.
“Great athletes in sports rise to the occasion in big moments, oftentimes even sacrifice self-glory to do so. Mary understands this. For example, she’ll work a count just so her on-deck batter can see some more pitches just to improve their own at-bat. Or she’ll take a right field approach with a runner on third base to score a run. It’s not always glory moments, but she’ll do that. She’ll also put down a sacrifice bunt if she’s required, even if she’s the fourth or fifth batter, who is usually not somebody who’s going to bunt. She will do all this because she has a trait that is very hard to find in athletes. She genuinely cares about the people around her, and she shows it not only in her words but in her actions. Sports is a reflection of life, and the people that truly make a positive difference are those who have genuine care for the people around them and those that work at it with all their heart in anything they do. These are not easy traits to possess. It’s easy to talk about them, but Mary is an example of someone who lives them. Susquehanna is getting a great one, but I don’t think they even know how blessed they are just yet. Mary, I’m so excited for all you will accomplish moving forward, not just in the game of softball but a lasting impact I know you’ll have in the world. Let your light shine for all to see.”

Coach Rich Scott says: “Mary is a very vocal leader. She did very well for us this year – any time we needed a big hit, she came through. At the beginning of the season, I talked to her about how many home runs she had last year, which is not a big deal. I just tried to boost her confidence and told her she’d have five this year. She had three, none bigger than the one in the Conestoga district playoff game. All around, she’s just a very good fielder. She’s amazing in the field and made some amazing plays at first base. She threw out a girl at third base after getting the runner at first. I’m definitely going to miss her because you don’t have players like that too often who are very coachable, will do anything you ask of them and is just a good vocal leader.”

About Mary:
Favorite food:
Favorite TV show: The Office
Favorite artist: Shawn Mendes