Kelly Robey, junior sport management major from New Madrid, Mo., has been named the Female Athlete of the Week. Robey also has been most recently selected as the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association Softball Student Athlete of the Week alongside teammate Shelby Lamb, a senior physical education major.
Robey is one of the primary pitchers for the Union softball team and is no stranger to the spotlight, having already received multiple honors and accolades early in her career.
Last year, Robey was a member of the team that won the NCCAA Div. I National Championship. In 2013 she was also named the NCCAA Mid-East Region Pitcher of the Year, NCCAA Mid-East All-Region, NCCAA All-Tournament, NCCAA First Team All-American, NCCAA National Tournament Most Outstanding Player and NCCAA National Pitcher of the Year, and she was named the TranSouth Freshman of the Year in 2012.
Robey said she was shocked after winning the national title and being named pitcher of the year.
She credits her family and specifically her dad for helping her get to where she is now with all of her athletic success.
“I am so lucky to be able to play the game I love at the collegiate level,” Robey said. “My father and I would be outside just about every day in the summer working on my pitching. Without him and the rest of my family supporting me I wouldn’t be where I am today. They have taught me one of the most valuable things in life: Hard work pays off.”
Last year the softball team beat Gulf South Conference foe Shorter University in the title game. This year, goals for Robey and the team include making it back to the NCCAA National Tournament, which she thinks they have a very good chance of doing.
“We have a lot of talent this year, so it is my hope that our hard work in the off-season will come together with that talent so that we will have a fantastic season,” she said.
Lamb, an outfielder on the softball team, has been Robey’s teammate for the past two seasons and is entering season number three. Lamb said she enjoys playing alongside Robey on the field because of her competitive nature but places a higher value on the friendship they share.
“Kelly Robey is without a doubt the most competitive person I know; from board games to softball games she is going to win no matter what it takes,” Lamb said. “Kelly refuses to lose, and that is what makes her so great. She also works hard at improving her pitching game year-round. She is a great leader and pushes us all to be better day in and day out.”
Lamb also seems to appreciate having Robey on her team versus playing against her.
“Kelly is one of the most dominant pitchers in the game, so I am glad she is on my team. Anytime Kelly is throwing in practice, I want to hit off of her,” Lamb said. “I know she is going to do everything she can to strike me out, which makes me a better hitter.
“Kelly never takes it easy on anyone, and anytime I can compete with her I want to so that we can make each other better.”
As of Feb. 24, the Lady Bulldogs are 11-6 overall and 1-2 in conference. Robey has pitched 74 innings and allowed only 61 hits against her.
The next home games for the Lady Bulldogs are March 14-16 against Davenport University and Delta State University. The first pitch will be thrown at 1 and 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 5p.m. on Sunday.