Everyday Champion - Cristy Hatton
April 1, 2009
Everyday Champion – Cristy Hatton
A quiet, hardworking leader for Kirk Walker, senior Cristy Hatton prefers to read during her free time, when it’s not consumed by softball or school. Hatton transferred from Lewis and Clark College in Portland after her sophomore season of eligibility. She was a two-year starter for the Pioneers, earning All-League honors her second season.
The Tigard, Ore., native has a near 4.0 GPA and is an exercise and sport science major with aspirations to one day teach children about fitness.
“Kids used to, even before my time, grab a bat and ball and go to the field and play with friends. And they don’t really do that anymore, so I would like to do that. Beyond that, I’d like to teach young women at a high school because we don’t get a lot of that,” Hatton said.
Hatton serves mainly as a utility player for the Oregon State softball team, scoring six runs and stealing a base thus far on the season.
She would like to get more into community service projects and encourages Beaver Nation to turn out to the OSU Softball Complex for “Strike Out Cancer” weekend. Games are 7:00 p.m. on Friday against No. 2 Stanford and 1:00 and 12:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday against No. 12 California.
Read more about Cristy…
Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. I really enjoy reading, a lot. I got to finish a couple of books over spring break, which was exciting for me because I haven’t had the opportunity to read a book in a long time because of school and softball. But I like going to the mall and people watching and watching TV, especially with friends – that’s always fun.
Q. What kind of books?
A. The type of books I like to read are romance, even though they can be the same general story. But I love anything with a twist. I just read a book that started out as a romance but then turned into kind of a thriller, murder-mystery thing. So that was really fun for me.
Q. Tell me about how you ended up at Oregon State.
A. I started at Lewis and Clark College, and it wasn’t a good fit for me. I stayed there for two years, and I liked the school, but I went in as a Psychology major. I kind of took a risk because it’s a four-year school. You get in and get out with your degree, and then I decided halfway through that I didn’t want to do Psychology. I didn’t really like the program. I liked learning about it, but I didn’t want to go into it. So I thought ‘what do I want to do?’ and I came up with something athletic – something to do with sports. And Oregon State has an excellent program for that, so I looked into it, and I came here.
Q. Had you been on campus before? Has anything surprised you about the campus?
A. Before coming to Oregon State, I had been on campus a couple of times. My sister went here before I did, and I had a couple of friends that I had come down to visit. The thing that surprised me the most was how big the campus was compared to Lewis and Clark. I could walk anywhere on campus at Lewis and Clark in two minutes, but here it takes 10-15 minutes to get to some places. But I liked that I could figure it out. I’m still kind of learning my way around it, but it was a lot bigger than I’d expected.
Q. How did becoming a part of the Oregon State softball team come about?
A. I decided to walk on to the softball team after I had decided to come to Oregon State. When I made my decision to switch schools, I decided it was the end of softball because there was no way I would make it on the team. I had my coach at Lewis and Clark and my family telling me I should, but I didn’t think that would happen. And then I came down to Oregon State to visit my sister, and I was driving past the softball stadium, and I had this really weird moment where I looked at the stadium and I just thought to myself ‘I have to try.’ There was no way I was going to come here with having as much experience as I do with softball and with as much passion as I have and not even try to play where the greatest people have played softball against the toughest teams in the nation.
Q. Talk about playing for Kirk Walker.
A. Playing for Kirk Walker has been a good experience for me. I’m really analytical, and I like to know what coaches are thinking. He always has a plan, which seems absurd to me sometimes. He’ll do things in games that I don’t understand, but then you realize he’s three steps ahead of you, and you have to catch up to him before you can understand what he’s doing.
Q. Do you want to coach?
A. Some days I think about being a coach. I used to pitch, and I’m a pitching coach a lot of the time. And I enjoy it. I love seeing someone succeed at something; it’s probably one of my favorite things. But it takes a lot of work, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that right now. But maybe after a few years out of college, when I have a better hold on life I can get back into that. But I don’t know if I could do it for a living.
Q. Talk about switching your major from Psychology to Exercise and Sport Science.
A. I switched from Psychology to Exercise and Sport Science. It wasn’t that big of a jump for me because in Psychology, you learn a lot about the psyche and ways people have decided to act and not to act. And for me it was more important to not just learn how they act but to go out and help them do it. So, I really wanted to help people get active. So I learn a lot about that in my major now. It kind of has a psychology aspect to it that in this environment you will exercise more and in this environment you won’t and ways you can change that, especially after time you’ve learned and been conditioned not to exercise.
Q. Your dream job is to teach children fitness. Expand on that.
A. I would love to teach fitness to kids, especially in this generation. I feel so old saying that. They have too many video games that they can play. I like the Wii, and I appreciate what they’re trying to do with that. I think it comes from a good place, not just a money-making place, which is nice. But I don’t think kids really know how to exercise and have fun. They just think of it as ‘my parents work out at the gym, and that’s boring.’ But that’s not the only way you work out. Kids used to, even before my time, grab a bat and ball and go to the field and play with friends. And they don’t really do that anymore, so I would like to do that. Beyond that, I’d like to teach young women at a high school because we don’t get a lot of that. We’re always told ‘don’t sweat. Don’t do this, don’t do that.’ I would like to try to break out of that, and I think that’s where my psychology background comes out of because there’s a lot manipulating people to do what they do and what they don’t do. I think having a strong, female influence in their lives would help them break through that.
Q. You have nearly a 4.0 GPA. How do you manage school on top of being on the road and all the athletic demands?
A. I manage the academic and athletic demands by time management. I struggled my first couple of terms here because it was a lot, especially winter term last year when we traveled a lot. It’s just non-stop. You have stuff you have to do and get it done. Making schedules works for me, and writing out what I have to do ahead of time is pretty much the only way you get through it.
Q. You attended the National Young Leaders Conference. Talk about that experience.
A. When I was a senior in high school, I went to the National Young Leaders Conference. I had no idea what it was. My Spanish teacher and I had a good connection my junior year signed me up for this. I’m not very outgoing, but I needed that experience and it was good for me. So I took a risk, and I signed up. We went to Washington D.C., where we just learned about politics and the government and the way it works. You’re with kids your own age, and you’re going through the same thing. I remember being scared because I’m not too into politics. I try, but it’s a little over my head. But they didn’t know much more than I did, so we all kind of learned it together and experienced Washington D.C. together.