Today: Jun 18, 2024

Kristin Whitely looks to end career on a high note

Andrew Anastasio – Sports Editor

Entering her fourth and final season with the Owls softball team, Kristin Whitely has been awarded by the Eagle Tribune, as Female Athlete of the Year, for her achievements during the 2012 season.

“It was really an honor to be given this award because I worked so hard for it,” Whitely said. “It definitely caught me by surprise because last year wasn’t my best year, but I put a lot of hard work into it and practice time.”

Growing up in her hometown of North Andover, Mass., Whitely attended North Andover High School. There, she was a four-time Cape Ann League all-star who helped lead her team to two Cape Ann League Championships in 2006 and 2007.

She also received All-Conference recognition in her senior season in 2009, her second consecutive season as the team’s MVP.

“It’s great having a player like Kristin on this team,” Head coach Lisa Barbaro said. “She’s one of those student athletes who kind of has it all. She’s very good in the classroom, and obviously does very well on the field. She’s a competitor who’s one of those kids who really steps up in pressure situations. She’s really helped us be successful.”

In her first season with the Owls in 2010, Whitely received All-Region and All-Conference recognition, after finishing the year batting .444, second best throughout the NE-10.

She led the Owls in slugging percentage at .662, on-base percentage at .494, and tied for first with 63 hits.

Her production honored her with a selection to the Northeast-10 All-Tournament team that year.

Whitely’s success carried over into her sophomore year when she accumulated 84 base hits, 54 rbi’s, and 11 home runs; all career highs.

Her performance that year, saw her receive All-American, All-Region, and All-Northeast-10 selections. She was also named the Northeast-10 Tournament MVP.

“What Kristin has is something you can’t really teach,” Barbaro said. “She has that focus and fire about her. She wants to be the one up at bat in pressure situations: She’s just a gamer. She’s a good athlete who has worked hard to take her game to the next level. We didn’t really expect her to come in and perform as well as she did, but I think most of that has been attributed to her work ethic in the weight room.”

Fellow senior captain Stacy Pouliot said Whitely epitomizes what a great teammate is.

“She’s a great player,” Pouliot said. “She’s carried us, especially in her freshman year, where she came up big and hit the ball well. We all love her, she’s great.”

Whitely said her experience with the Owls has been memorable.

“I’ve had a great experience ever since I’ve been here,” Whitely said. “We have always had a winning season, and we keep progressing and getting better. Last year we went to the Division II World Series, which is always a good experience. It seems like each year that passes, we take a step further.”

Currently, Whitely’s career numbers stand at 215 hits, 128 rbi’s, and 17 home runs. She said her personal goal going into the 2013 season is to continue her success from last year.

“I just what to continue with what I’m doing,” Whitely said. “I’m looking to perfect my skills, and continue with what I’ve been doing the past couple of years.”

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