Linfield Wildcats
General Interest
June 02, 2014
Female Athlete of Year nod goes to Paavola
Past Athletes of the Year
All-everything senior softball pitcher Karina  Paavola is Linfield College's Female Athlete of the Year for 2013-14. Paavola was selected to receive the athletic department's top honor following a vote of head coaches.
 
“Karina had a pretty dominating year,” said her coach, Jackson  Vaughan, understating the obvious.
 
The right-handed windmiller led the Northwest Conference in wins (19), strikeouts (175), shutouts (5) and ERA (1.30).
 
Paavola played some of her finest softball in Linfield's biggest games. She pitched the Wildcats to victories over No. 5 East Texas Baptist and No. 9 Texas-Tyler during a spring break trip to Texas.
 
A two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American and a three-time all-West Region honoree, Paavola expanded her repertoire to become an even more unstoppable force during her senior season.
 
“Karina was our go-to pitcher all year long,” said Vaughan. “She really developed a lot as a pitcher and learned to throw more off-speed stuff and the drop ball which she didn't have early in her career. Adding those elements to her game really completed her as a pitcher.”
 
During her senior season, she established new career records for pitching victories (73) and appearances (113) while finishing second all-time for shutouts (15), strikeouts (550) and opponent batting average (.198).
 
“She's pitched a lot of big games for us over the course of her career, not just her senior year,” said Vaughan.
 
In addition to her glossy statistics, Paavola took on more of a leadership role during 2014, helping the Wildcats to a 34-9 overall record as well as the program's 11th straight NWC championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III regional playoffs.
 
“In terms of leadership, pitchers are always different because they serve a specialized role,” said Vaughan. “Karina really did the best job of her career this year in embracing a leadership role. She did a lot of the little things that aren't necessarily fun but that help practices running smoothly.”
 
Paavola will graduate June 1 with a bachelor's degree in business management. She already lined up her first professional opportunity with Ringor, a Wilsonville-based manufacturer of softball cleats and apparel. She'll begin in a merchandising sales position with the opportunity to contribute her softball acument toward product development.
 
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Action Image
Karina Paavola
Expanded pitching repertoire
 
Linfield Sports Communication
Kelly Bird
Director of Sports Information

Linfield College
McMinnville, OR 97128
Email: kbird@linfield.edu
Phone: 503-883-2439
Katherine Brackmann
Assistant Director - External Relations

Email: kbrackm@linfield.edu
Phone: 503-883-2372