HILLSBORO, Ore. – Kinsey McNaught (Keizer, Ore.) is a senior outfielder on the Whitworth softball team. Currently ranked first in the Northwest Conference in on base percentage (.560) and third in batting average (.456), McNaught proves to be an an asset to the Pirates program, which currently ranks first in NWC standings with an 11-0 record (17-4 overall).
McNaught describes being a member of the Whitworth softball team as “quite the journey,” stating that the program has given her “things that mean a lot more than softball.”
“My coaches and teammates have been my family the past three years and they have challenged me to become a better athlete, student, and person. They have given me the confidence to push myself out of my comfort zone in all aspects of life and taught me to live in the moment and appreciate whatever life throws my way. I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything.”
McNaught, the 2017 NWC Freshman of the Year, described her freshman year at Whitworth at a defining time in her career. “From learning to balance work, school, and a full-time softball schedule, it was the most formative year of my life and I developed as a person more than any other time in my life,” she says. McNaught credits her coaches for helping her “develop into a leader in every aspect” of her life. “I have the confidence to be outside of my comfort zone. I am taking 20 credits in order to graduate in three years and will be spending the fall in Shanghai. Without my coaches and teammates, I would not be who I am today,” she says.
In her free time, McNaught is actively involved in VITA, an income tax assistance program in her community where she spends 5 to 10 hours a week during tax season volunteering to help elderly and underprivileged community members file their tax returns.
“Being a Division III athlete has given me the opportunity to thrive academically and foster meaningful relationships with my coaches, professors, and teammates,” says McNaught. “As an athlete in the Northwest Conference you are given the opportunity to develop as a person and student while also facing great competition in your sport.” In her freshman season, the accounting major earned All- NWC second team honors.
McNaught says “I have developed confidence and learned that life isn’t always going work out the way you plan. Being a college athlete teaches you to handle the unexpected and I have full confidence that I will be able to balance a full-time career and personal life in the future, whether things happen as planned or not.”
McNaught says her mom and coaches at Whitworth have been the most influential people in her life. “To be at college, especially a school like Whitworth, my family has made a lot of sacrifices and overcome many challenges. I am one of four children with a single mom, and she has supported me in every way possible.”
The senior says that her mother has instilled a hard-working and compassionate mindset in her, stating “she has taught me that no matter what challenges stand in front of me, I can overcome them with hard work.”
“My coaches have also supported me in every way possible the last three years,” she says. “They have challenged me to become a better person and to appreciate every moment of life and have an open mind no matter what challenges you are facing. They have been so much more to me than coaches.”
McNaught and the Pirates will seek to extend their undefeated NWC record in a four-game series at Pacific Lutheran this weekend.