Recruiting Thursday: Norwin's Kessler picks Saint Francis

The Knights power-hitting catcher is preparing for her senior season

Thu Nov 17, 2022 - 10:50AM

Jack Ridenour Jack Ridenour

Last Updated: Thu Nov 17, 2022 - 10:58AM

The weather is starting to change here in Western Pennsylvania, and as the cold weather rolls in, the spring is a distant thought for many. But for Norwin’s Madie Kessler, the spring and softball season, in particular, are always on her mind.

Recently, Kessler has had something else on her mind that she was finally able to put to rest. The senior catcher settled on her college decision, and made her commitment to continue her academic and athletic career at St. Francis University.

“It’s honestly the biggest relief that I have felt in a long time,” Kessler commented on her commitment to the Red Flash.

When it came down to making her decision, Kessler was immediately drawn by the school’s academic programs and what they had to offer in the classroom. With the added bonus of being able to play softball, it was an easy choice for her to make.

During this process, Kessler was very patient in making her final decision. She knew the importance of taking her time and waiting for the perfect moment to determine what school would be the best fit for her.

“It wasn’t that I was rushing or trying to commit before my senior year,” Kessler noted. “I wanted to find the right place and make the choice at the right time.”

Kessler’s recruitment didn’t pick up until later in her high school career.

“It was very frustrating, at times,” said Kessler of the recruiting process. “Whenever it started to pick up, it was definitely a lot later than what I had seen in previous years from friends and other teams I had been watching when I was younger.”

Her patience paid off, and after taking the time she needed, she was able to narrow down her options and finally settle on where she will spend the next four years of her life.

However, she still has one more season as a Norwin Knight, and she wants to make the most of it before she heads off to Loretto, PA. Kessler guided her Knights to a WPIAL playoff appearance last season, taking down Baldwin in the first round 11-1 before falling in the quarterfinals to Hempfield 5-4.

Kessler was instrumental in the Knights’ success, especially at the plate. This past spring, she compiled five home runs and 16 RBIs, to go along with a .362 batting average.

“As a whole, I’d say playing with your best friends is supposed to be fun and relaxing,” Kessler mentioned on what her takeaways were from last season's 6-10 overall finish. “High school is ultimately not where you get recruited. It’s more in travel ball you get the recruiting aspect. In high school, it’s all about playing your best and having fun and being with your friends.”

Heading into the spring, Kessler is excited to get back onto the field with her high school teammates. The Knights will have a very young roster this upcoming season, with only three seniors on the team.

“As a whole for our team, we just need to work together,” Kessler said on what her expectations are for her team. “I think we need to be diligent at practice, work hard, and hit the ball well.”

With her sights set on Loretto in a year, Kessler still has her focus on her upcoming senior season in high school. Before she becomes a Red Flash, she wants to end her high school career on a high note as a Norwin Knight.

“I want to make it past the first round of playoffs,” Kessler noted regarding her goal. “We always get to that second round and put our best foot forward, but this year, I want to get past that second round.”