Kelly Walinski, a Marist graduate from Worth, concluded her college career with a spot on the Mid-American Conference First Team. Photo courtesy of Northern Illinois University Athletics

Kelly Walinski, a Marist graduate from Worth, concluded her college career with a spot on the Mid-American Conference First Team. Photo courtesy of Northern Illinois University Athletics

College Notebook | Worth’s Walinski finishes strong for Huskies

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By Mike Walsh
Correspondent

Kelly Walinski concluded her college years in perfect fashion.

On the softball diamond, the Northern Illinois senior shortstop was named to the 2023 All-Mid-American Conference First Team. In the classroom, she was chosen to the Academic All-MAC Team for the third time in her stint in DeKalb.

The Worth resident and Marist graduate became the fifth softball student-athlete in NIU history to garner the MAC’s Nan Harvey Award, which is presented to students who are successful in athletics as well as the classroom.

“Kelly (Walinski) culminated four years of hard work and determination to have a breakout senior year leading our team on and off the field,” Huskies head coach Christina Sutcliffe stated on NIU’s website.

Walinski graduated with a 3.92 GPA while majoring in pre-physical therapy. For good measure, she also was one of three NIU softball players named to the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team earlier this spring.

On the field, Walinski concluded her final season as a Husky with 39 RBI, good enough for fifth in the MAC. She paced NIU (26-25, 15-13 MAC) with 56 hits, 80 total bases, a .354 batting average and a .506 slugging percentage in 51 starts.

Walinski added four home runs, 29 runs, eight doubles, two triples, seven stolen bases in eight attempts and an OPS of .901.

 

Lauding the Lakers
Two of the five Roosevelt University baseball players chosen to the 2023 All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason teams have local connections.

Named to the All-CCAC Second Team were third baseman Diego Munoz and pitcher Bryan Green.

Munoz, who prepped at Mount Carmel, batted .388 with a .590 slugging percentage. He drove in 42 runs on a team-best 17 extra-base hits (10 doubles, four triples, three home runs). Munoz’s batting average ranks fourth on Roosevelt’s all-time list for a single season.

Munoz was one of two Lakers to receive a CCAC Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence.

Green, a senior, made 13 appearances for the Lakers with eight starts. The Oak Lawn alum was 7-1 with two complete games. In 67 innings of work, the right-hander struck out 50 and walked 22 while compiling a 4.70 ERA. Green led the Roosevelt (26-19, 13-12 CCAC) staff in wins.

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