February 9, 2001

Pitching out of a jam

Feb. 9, 2001

By DAVID DUNCH, Ass't Sports Editor
The Santa Clara

Krista Barry never gave up, even when many around her did.

The senior pitcher has endured the good times and bad - unfortunately, mostly bad - of the softball program in her four years at Santa Clara. But through it all - the losses, the quitting teammates and even a coaching change - Barry has performed well.

"It's been a learning experience," she said.

A standout at Cascade High School in Everett, Wash., Barry started her career at a young age,

"My brother was two years older, and I tagged along wherever he went. When he and my dad would play catch in the back yard. I always wanted to play too," Barry said. "When I could, I signed up for a T-ball team and was the only girl on the team. But I just loved baseball."

On a recruiting trip to Santa Clara, Barry realized this was where she wanted to play. "I knew it was the place for me," she said. "I loved California and I loved the campus." Barry also got a push from future teammate Jayne Whitney, another Washington state softball standout.

"We would be playing against each other and ask, 'Are you going? Are you?' Finally we just decided to do it, decided to be roommates freshman year and have become good friends."

Barry burst onto the scene her freshman year, notching a team-high 10 wins while hurling 178 innings, 16 complete games and three shutouts. The team even enjoyed some success, winning the end-of the-year WISL Tournament. And when asked about the highlight of her career at Santa Clara, Barry points to this achievement as the thing she's most proud of.

During a sophomore year full of losses and controversy-many of her teammates bolted because of conflicts with the coaching staff-Barry was a consistent performer, starting 39 games, winning eight while throwing 220.1 innings. It was tough, but for Barry quitting was never an option.

"I've never quit anything in my life," she said. "I wanted to have the satisfaction of saying 'I did it' no matter what had happened."

Her tenacity was rewarded the following year as Barry was named an all-WISL performer. Even though her record was only 7-18, she had an impressive 2.83 ERA in 178.1 innings, and threw 23 complete games. She walked only 39 batters all year. This year, Barry has set her sights on going .500 as a starting pitcher, and would love to see the team reach the break-even mark as well. She also wants to win WISL again.

Looking back, Barry says there have been a lot of positives even with all the difficulties.

"I've enjoyed the challenge of being a student-athlete," she said, "and I've met a lot of people who I've become great friends with. I'll always remember my teammates and what we've been through."

After this year, Barry thinks she'll be done with softball. Law school is a possibility down the road, but she really wants to stay in sports, particularly baseball.

"It would be awesome to work for the San Francisco Giants," she said.

With all the success Barry has experienced over her career, the Giants may be calling her to work for them afterall.