NEWBERRY — Get to know Newberry College softball players, Natalie Willis, Haley Wildes and Kendall Tipton.
Name: Natalie Willis
Major: Elementary Education
Favorite Food: Watermelon
Willis is a junior from Lexington and is in her third season with the Wolves softball program.
“I came to Newberry because it’s close to home, I love the small community environment, and I got the opportunity to play softball as well as volleyball,” said Willis.
Prior to Newberry, she was a dual sport athlete at River Bluff High School playing volleyball and softball. Under the instruction of and Sarah Zaengle Cindy Esposito for three years, she was an All-Region selection and MVP in both sports. She tacked on other accolades like Team Captain, River Bluff Female Athlete of the Year, All-State selection, and played in the North/South All-Star game.
Some interesting facts about Natalie are…
She goes to Dunkin’ Donuts and gets coffee before each game as her pre-game ritual. Her favorite athlete is Steph Curry while her favorite sports team is the Atlanta Braves. She has completely memorized “Good Life” by One Republic.
Willis’ greatest athletic achievement/moment is being named Female Athlete of the Year during her senior year of high school.
Name: Haley Wildes
Favorite Food: Pasta
In her final season with the softball team, Wildes is a native of Jacksonville, Fla. She came to Newberry because, “of the softball team mostly as well as the Nursing program.”
Wildes, before her time with the Wolves, played softball at St. John’s River College where she was named an All-Conference honorable mention twice. During her sophomore season she batted .337, tallied 45 RBIs, and was a scholar athlete.
In her training, she attributes staying focused on what she can control and hyping herself up before games plus practices as keys to her success.
Some interesting facts about Haley are…
She has completely memorized the words to “Children’s Story” by Slick Rick. Her favorite athlete is Monica Abbott and she cheers on Georgia football. Her favorite hobby is going to the beach. As her pre-game ritual, she enjoys listening to her favorite songs and going to Dunkin’ Donuts.
Her greatest athletic achievement/moment is beating Central Florida and advancing to the state tournament her freshman year.
Name: Kendall Tipton
Major: Criminal Justice
Favorite Food: Mac n cheese
The Land O Lakes, Florida native is embarking on her second season with the Wolves.
Before her time at Newberry, Tipton was a four-year letter winner was also named Defensive MVP. Over her four-year career she posted a .350 batting average, with 60 RBIs, and 85 runs scored. During her senior season she batted .311, with 29 runs scored, and 15 RBIs.
During her rehabilitation, she attributes focusing on treatment and taking care of herself as keys to her training.
Some interesting facts about Kendall are…
Her favorite athlete is Derek Jeter and she cheers for the New York Yankees. The song she has completely memorized is “Nowhere Fast” by Old Dominion. She is fluent in American Sign Language.
Her greatest athletic achievement/moment was winning the state championship back to back with her travel ball team.