UNC Wilmington Softball Camps
Head Coach Kristy Norton
Kristy Norton, who helped turn James Madison into one of the top softball programs in the Colonial Athletic Association, embarks on her fourth season as head coach of the UNCW softball program.
Just the fourth coach in the 28-year history of fast-pitch softball at UNCW, Norton piloted the Seahawks to a 19-27 record last year, including a 15-11 mark at Boseman Field. In addition, sophomores Claudia Spinelli and Peyton Jordan earned second team selections on the All-Colonial Athletic Association teams.
Norton led UNCW to a successful 2014 season that featured victories over regional foes Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb and UNCG as well as a road series victory over CAA foe Drexel.
The squad continued to develop offensively in its second season under Norton’s tutelage, posting top 10 marks for slugging percentage (.343), doubles (51), triples (10), home runs (20) and walks (135). In the circle, junior Casey Rowland was named Second-Team All-CAA as she paced the UNCW pitching staff with 3.01 earned run average of 181.2 innings of work.
In her first season in the Port City, Norton helped the Seahawks enjoy a solid 2013 campaign that saw the squad post its highest win total in six seasons. Under Norton’s guidance, UNCW showed marked improvements nearly every major offensive statistical category, including appearances on the program’s all-time lists for doubles (62), walks (155), runs scored (192) and total bases (440).
Senior shortstop Lauren Buckworth became just the fourth player in program history to earn First-Team All-CAA accolades after leading the Seahawks with a .355 batting average and 55 hits, including a team-best 14 doubles.
Norton joined the Seahawks in June 2012 after spending seven seasons with the Dukes and carrying the Harrisonburg, Va., school to its first CAA tournament crown and NCAA Tournament berth in 2009.
Under Norton's instruction, JMU featured the best offensive season in the program's history in 2007, setting single-season marks for batting average (.311), slugging percentage (.472), runs scored (278), home runs (42), and RBI (264). The Dukes were ranked nationally in batting average (14th), slugging percentage, (24th) and runs scored (36th) en route to a school-record 37 victories that season.
Norton had 24 players receive a total of 42 All-CAA and CAA All-Rookie Team accolades during her time with the program, while two players, Ashley Burnham and Jenn Chavez, earned CAA Player-of-the-Year honors under her tutelage. Chavez was the first Duke to earn the award in 2007 and Burnham was the league's first two-time recipient (2010 & 2012).
Norton began her collegiate coaching career at her alma mater, serving two seasons as an assistant coach at UNC Greensboro (2003-04). Norton worked with the team's outfielders and hitters, developed the team's strength and conditioning program and coordinated travel arrangements. She also served as head coach of the Carolina Wildcats, an 18-under travel softball team, from 1999-2002.
Norton enjoyed an outstanding collegiate playing career for the Spartans, earning All-Southern Conference and honorable mention All-South accolades during her four-year career (1999-2002). A durable second baseman that set team records for games started (252) and at-bats (785), Norton was also proficient at the plate, ending her career second on UNCG's career list for hits (222), doubles (41) and fifth in runs batted in (106).
A native of Fayetteville, N.C., Norton earned her Bachelor's Degree in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in coaching from UNCG in 2002. She completed her Master's in Recreation and Sports Management at JMU in 2005.