Kim Whaley is great fit for Carson-Newman

Few teams ran on Kim Whaley the last four seasons.

Fewer still were the base runners who took an extra base because one got by the Maryville High School catcher.

“She may have had three passed balls in a career,” Lady Rebel coach Ken Hawkins said.

Whaley’s strong throwing arm is one reason Carson-Newman College signed the Lady Rebel receiver to a National Letter of Intent last Thursday. The other goes back to so few passed balls. Whaley is a quick, agile receiver, so much so when she arrives this fall, plans are to move her to second base.

“I think she’s a good fit for them,” Hawkins said. “She can play infield. She can play outfield. I think she’s one of the best players Maryville High School has ever had.”

Whaley hit for a .361 average with five doubles and seven walks during her senior season for the District 4AAA champion Lady Rebels. Maryville (21-8) came within a game of advancing to the Class AAA state tournament, falling to host Cherokee in substate. Maryville was a state tournament qualifier Whaley’s freshman season.

Whaley has experience on the infield. She played third for much of her youth, moving to catcher midway through her freshman season at Maryville.

“Probably the smartest thing I ever did was put her in as catcher as a freshman and leave her there,” Hawkins said. “It turned our season around.”

If the move to second proves permanent on the collegiate level, there are some things about catching she’ll miss, Whaley said.

“The best part is throwing runners out,” she said. “You have to be in the game (mentally) the whole time.”

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