EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

April 23, 2013

carving her niche

Raider junior no longer just Kayla's little sister

Central Catholic junior Krista Maloney still gets the question, but it’s just not as frequent.

“Since I first came to Central, people would ask me if I’m Kayla Maloney’s sister,” said Maloney. “I still get asked.”

It’s only natural, of course, since older sister Kayla Maloney started her career at Central, becoming a standout pitcher from the outset, and then transferred to Phillips Academy, where she was a two-time Eagle-Tribune MVP the last two years.

“We were playing Haverhill and they were all talking about me being Kayla’s sister and some were asking, ‘What’s different between you and Kayla,’” remembered Maloney. “I said there’s a lot different.”

To start with, Krista gave up pitching a good five years ago, noting that pitchers don’t get as many at-bats at a higher level, and has dedicated herself to playing the outfield. She is currently playing center field.

For another, as anyone who knows them both will attest, Kayla and Krista have different personalities.

“I feel she’s more serious than I am, about softball and everything,” said Krista. “She likes to be in a zone and I like to be a lot more loose. But I still take it (softball) seriously.”

Central Catholic coach Stacy Ciccolo certainly agrees with that.

“Krista can be chatty and affable, but she is a very competitive athlete at heart,” said Ciccolo. “I have had the pleasure of coaching both Krista and Kayla Maloney and they are more similar then many would believe.

“Krista is extremely talented, works hard, really understands the game and is fun to coach.”

The younger Maloney has certainly carved her own niche and has definitely had a positive impact. She batted a solid .287 last year in her first season as a starter and, as the team’s leadoff batter, had hits in 11 of her first 20 at-bats this year. Among the hits are two game-winning hits.

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