Catie Funk has never worried about her hitting. And with good reason.

While at Scarborough High, she hit .653 with seven home runs her senior season to lead the Red Storm to the Class A state title. And in three years at Babson College, she’s batted .446 with five home runs, .433 with eight home runs and .411 with 10 this year.

“There isn’t anybody she doesn’t feel she can hit,” said Babson Coach David Canan. “She’s mechanically sound, she attacks the ball. To be honest, she hits the ball so hard I’m getting a little older and a little petrified in the third-base coach’s box when she’s hitting. I’m almost down in left field.”

You can imagine how the other coaches in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference feel about Funk at the plate. Actually, they pretty much have already let their opinions be known, by voting her as the conference’s Player of the Year as a junior, a rarity in one of the nation’s top Division III leagues.

“It’s nice,” said Funk. “I’m pretty pumped about it. I just wish our season had ended a little better. But we have another chance next year.”

Funk, who helped the Beavers to the conference championship game, led the NEWMAC in RBI (51) and total bases (104) and tied for the league high in runs (45) and home runs (10). Beyond that, she made only nine errors at shortstop — a position she had never played until Canan put her there as a freshman.

“I’m just excited that (the errors) were under 10,” she said. “There’s still room for improvement, but I’m happy about that.”

“The coaches respect her whole game,” said Canan. “She’s just a great role model. I tell people, she’s not a great hitter because she was born a great hitter. She made herself into a great hitter. Same with her fielding. She worked at it.

“I tell people to watch Catie Funk practice. Watch her hit off a tee. Watch her field ground balls. She does it all with intensity.”

Funk knows that expectations will be extremely high next year.

“I’m just going to do my best and understand that not every day is going to be my day,” she said.

“And if I have a bad day, I realize I have teammates who will pick me up. I’m just going to focus on the team. If the team is winning, I’m happy, even if I’m not hitting.”

One of those teammates is Kelly King, a Kennebunk High grad who just finished her sophomore season at Babson by being selected to the NEWMAC second team.

King was second on the team with a .398 average. She also had seven home runs and 42 RBI — second to Funk in those categories as well.

“I only got one at-bat (as a freshman),” said King, who moved to first base this year after pitching as a freshman. “I knew I could hit as well as anyone else, it was just about proving to the coaches I could do it. I think I was a little bit under the radar this year. Next year, people will know who I am. Hopefully I can live up to what I did this year.”

Canan said King never complained about sitting as a freshman, but instead worked harder to get into the lineup.

“She got the opportunity to earn some playing time and she took advantage of it,” he said. “She kept quiet, worked hard and she is a great learner. I have a lot of admiration for players like that.”

Funk and King liked to joke that a couple of Mainers were carrying Babson at times. The two, who played against each other in high school, have become close.

“All I know is that every time I pitched against (Funk) in high school, freshman, sophomore and junior, she hit a home run off me,” said King. “It’s nice to have her on my team and not the other.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH