The Hofstra Pride softball team’s young season has been defined thus far by star freshmen stepping up and dominating at their positions. One of those freshmen is shortstop Kristin Hallam.
Hallam played varsity softball at Nottingham High School in Hamilton, New Jersey. She owns the school and Mercer County records for most career hits with 168. Hallam also earned her school’s single-season batting average record by hitting .561 in 2016. To top off her already impressive high school resume, Hallam was a four-time team MVP. All of this was achieved while taking honors-level classes.
However, Hallam has changed her style of play here at Hofstra. “When I think of high school, I think of what feels like forever ago. I am a totally different person and player than I was before,” Hallam said. “During high school, I felt that I needed to do everything. I almost wanted to be the pitcher, catcher, short stop and first basemen all at the same time. This attitude kind of took over me and pushed me to be the best at all times, wanting to get every hit and make every catch.”
Here at Hofstra, she is more focused on keeping her positive attitude in college rather than keeping her stats. “It’s not so much carrying over the stats to college, but the attitude. The attitude to be the best and the attitude to wanting to do everything by yourself. It’s a great mentality but it’s nice playing and knowing I have reliable teammates, knowing that everyone picks each other up. Once you have the mindset that you’re the best player or team on the field, then you will be the best and have the best results,” Hallam said.
Attitude is important to Hallam, so important that it is the main reason why she looks up to Derek Jeter as her favorite athlete of all time. “Not only was he one of the best baseball players, but an even better person. Derek Jeter played for his team and his teammates, not for personal stats or records. He was the captain, known as the captain to basically every team. He is such an incredible leader and he is so humble,” Hallam said.
Hallam’s positive attitude has translated to positive play on the field. She has the second highest on-base percentage on the team at .389 and second highest batting average at .313. As a leadoff hitter, Hallam knows how important it is for her to get on base in any way possible. “It is my job to get on base. Whether it’s by a hit, walk, error or hit by pitch, my primary job as the leadoff hitter is to get on base. Primarily I rely on speed, but ball placement and hits come along as well,” Hallam said. Being in the leadoff spot comes with a lot of pressure, mainly because of the expectation of always getting on base. Hallam is fitting into that mold very well and does not seem to be feeling the stress as she is putting up fantastic numbers.
Hallam attributes some of her success to her teammates as well. While talking about the team’s recent win against No. 11 James Madison University, Hallam mentioned the team atmosphere. “All of my teammates were in the game and cheering and having a great time and the atmosphere was just amazing for us. Everything was a celebration, everything as small as one ball on the batter was a celebration and we took nothing for granted that game. We came amped and ready to play that day and we really brought it to the table,” Hallam said.
Hallam is playing like a veteran member of the team and she is only a freshman. She is a difference maker on this team and will be fun to watch for the rest of this season and in the seasons to come.