Babson College softball coach Dave Canan said he can think of only one reason why he’ll be glad that Scarborough’s Catie Funk is no longer on his team.
“I won’t miss being petrified of being killed in the third-base box,” Canan said. “To be honest, when Catie was batting, I didn’t even stand there. I stood in the outfield.”
The rest of the New England Women’s and Men’s Collegiate Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) will be glad Funk’s career is over for another reason: She wore out pitching staffs for four straight all-conference seasons and was the conference player of the year as a junior and senior.
“She just hits the ball differently than everyone else. The ball comes off at a different speed than any other softball player I coached,” said Canan, whose team was knocked out of the NCAA playoffs Sunday.
Funk became the first position player in Babson history to earn All-America recognition when she was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) third team last week.
A two-year captain and four-year starting shortstop, Funk batted a career-high .460 with 18 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 39 RBI and 59 runs in 48 games.
Her 63 hits tied the single-season program mark. Her 10 homers matched her school record set last year. Her 59 runs tied for sixth in the nation this spring, and was 14 more than her previous mark of 45 set in 2012.
The efforts were instrumental in Babson going 34-14 and making the NCAA tournament for the third time.
Funk leaves Babson as the program’s all-time leader with a .438 average, 231 hits, 71 doubles, 33 home runs, 187 runs, 166 RBI, 417 total bases and a .790 slugging percentage in 170 games.
“It was more about what the team did than what any individual did,” Funk said. “Out of all of (the records), making it to the NCAAs was my favorite statistic, not the batting average or any of the personal statistics. To make it there was pretty exciting. And All-America status was my other one. You always reach for it but you never think it’s possible until you get there and I couldn’t have done it without all the contributions of my team.”
Canan said he was confident Funk, a 2009 Scarborough High grad, would be able to hit at the college level right away and was never disappointed.
What was more challenging for Funk was moving from third to being the shortstop.
“We needed a shortstop and I thought she was athletic enough to do a good job,” Canan said. “She made unbelievable improvements as a fielder.”
“It was quite a change of pace and quite a change of environment,” Funk said. “I was used to getting the ball and just throwing it. Having to wait on the ball was an adjustment. I made a few errors at first but by my junior year I’d really settled into the position.”
“The biggest thing I’m going to miss is her as a person,” Canan said. “As great a softball player as she is, she’s just a wonderful person. She came in as a shy little girl and she left as a confident woman.”
Funk graduated Saturday with a bachelor of science degree with a concentration in marketing and finance.
She said she hopes to find a job with a Boston-based financial institution.
Kelly King of Kennebunk was a junior on Babson’s softball team. After batting .398 as a sophomore and making the NEWMAC second team, King hit .190 this year, playing in 30 games with 26 starts.
Western New England College freshman Heather Fecteau of Biddeford made 42 starts in 45 games for the Golden Bears (27-19). Fecteau, playing first base, hit .192 with two doubles and eight RBI.
Southern New Hampshire University junior lacrosse captain Ellie Morin of Scarborough completed a standout season for the Penmen, leading one of the youngest Division II teams in the country to a 7-10 record, 6-6 in the Northeast-10 Conference. Morin played attack and led SNHU with 48 goals in 16 games with 18 assists. During the season she notched her 100th career goal, matched a single-game program record with six assists and was twice named the NE-10 player of the week.
Morin was named the team MVP and second-team all-conference. Morin also led the team with 70 draw controls. Also contributing to the SNHU team was sophomore midfielder Meghan Quirk of Scarborough. Quirk started all 17 games with one goal and was fourth on the team in ground balls and third in caused turnovers.
MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD
The NCAA Division III championships start Thursday at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Tufts freshman Mitchell Black of Brunswick will enter the 800-meter race as the second seed. Also in the field are former Greely High and current Bates College teammates senior James LePage (ranked third) and sophomore Mark McCauley (ranked sixth)
• Maine junior Brian Woodbury of Scarborough placed second in the discus and third in the shot put at the America East championship meet.
Teammates James Rutter, a junior from Portland (Cheverus) and sophomore Joseph Viola of Scarborough were part of the fourth-place 400 relay team.
• Maine junior Alexander Moser of York Harbor was 15th in the 1,500-meter race at the recent ECAC championship meet after placing sixth at the America East meet. Moser was also on the Black Bears’ eighth-place 3,200 relay team at the America East meet.
• Wheaton College senior Sam Fear of Bath (North Yarmouth Academy) placed 11th in the javelin at the ECAC championships, which is an all-division meet.
WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD
Ithaca College sophomore Emelia Scheemaker of Scarborough is making the trip to the NCAA Division III national championship in La Crosse, Wis., as the fifth-ranked triple jumper.
• University of Maine junior Rachel Wilkinson of South Portland (Gorham) placed seventh in the America East championship meet 1,500-meter race with a time of 4 minutes, 46.16 seconds. Wilkinson also ran the lead leg on the Black Bears’ 3,200 relay team that placed sixth. Senior Mary Fagan of Camden (Camden Hills) was on the 1,600 relay team that also placed sixth.
William Smith College junior Katie Paige of Brunswick (North Yarmouth Academy) earned a spot on the Liberty League all-academic team. An environmental studies and economics major, Paige needed to carry at least a 3.2 GPA to qualify for the team. It is Paige’s second straight year on the team.
• Hamilton College senior Dylan Jackson of Yarmouth was the bow seat rower in the varsity eight this season. Hamilton sophomore Andrew Szatkowski of Buxton (Bonny Eagle) was a member of the school’s second varsity eight.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or firstname.lastname@example.org