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Greencastle softball star Root will take her skills to Hofstra

November 10, 2005|by KEVIN SPRADLIN / Staff Correspondent

These days, life for Greencastle softball standout Kris Root is moving at a very fast pace. And that suits Root just fine, as speed plays a very important part in how she approaches the game.

"My favorite part of the game is base running," Root said last night just before signing her letter of intent to play for Hofstra University. "I love getting down and dirty. I love sliding and making the catcher make a play on me. I love seeing what the other team can do."

Her aggressiveness and overall athleticism were two key factors in why Hofstra recruited Root. Loyalty was the main reason Root signed.

"Hofstra was the first school that ever contacted me," Root said. "I'd never heard of it until I was contacted by them."

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Once they talked, Root liked what she heard.

"Their softball program was the best one on the East Coast that I looked at," Root said of the Pride, who went 43-16-1 last year and won both the Colonial Athletic Assocation regular season and tournament titles. "Their incoming classes keep getting stronger and stronger. They must be doing something right if the good players keep coming there."

Root should fit right in. As a three-year starter, she has a .456 batting average with 21 home runs and 73 RBI. Just as attractive is her .545 on-base percentage and 49 stolen bases. She's also drawn 40 walks.

Those statistics helped her earn Herald-Mail All-Area First Team honors in each of the past two years.

The Pride are not known only for their wins and losses. The team ranked 20th in the nation last season in academic grade point average.

"Of course, my first priority is academics because without them, I wouldn't be going to Hofstra," said Root, who owns a 3.98 GPA, takes Advanced Placement classes and is enrolled in a psychology course at Penn State-Mont Alto.

Fourth-year Blue Devils coach Jamie Richardson has no doubt Root will be a good fit for her new team.

"As a leader," Richardson said, "you can't ask for a better person. She is someone who likes to lead by example. I guess I have a warm part in my heart for her. She was part of my first freshman class, so I guess I can call her my player."

Now that the signing has taken place, Richardson wants Root and the rest of the team to focus on the 2006 season. Greencastle lost in the first round of District play last season and doesn't want that to happen again.

"Coach had us write down our goals and every single girl on the team wrote down, 'States,'" Root said. "I think this is the best team we've ever had at Greencastle."

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