EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Kristin Fifield was a force to be reckoned with on the softball field during her time at Chapin High School.
After four years of playing varsity softball, Fifield finished her high school career with a batting average of .616, hit 74 doubles, 57 home runs, and had 248 runs batted in. In the circle, she ended her high school with a career record of 76-16. She collected 774 strikeouts in 497 innings pitched.
“Chapin was so memorable. I am so speechless because it is crazy that is was four years ago,” Fifield said. “Those memories I have with all those girls and all the coaches will last a lifetime.”
Fifield was a two-way star on the field at Chapin and decided to take her talents to the next level. She signed her national letter of intent to play softball at Grand Canyon University in Nov. 2018.
Fifield’s first season at GCU was in 2020. As a freshman, she appeared in 26 games and made 22 starts in the infield. Fifield was second on the team in batting average (.355) and on base percentage (.427).
In her sophomore year, Fifield took her game up a level. The El Paso native started all 49 games for the Lopes in center field. She hit .340, had seven home runs, and brought in 33 runs. She was second on the team in hits with 52 of them. Her great season led to a spot on the All-WAC first team.
Ahead of her junior year at GCU, Fifield made the switch from a slap hitter to a power hitter. That would lead to Fifield taking her game to another level.
“The slapper role, I loved it, but I had to gain like that speed aspect and like I wouldn’t say I’m the fastest, but I’m pretty fast but like at the division one level, I feel like you have to be like pretty speedy to be a slapper,” Fifield said. “I think once Coach [Shanon] Hayes came in, he definitely helped me feeling more comfortable and just staying in my swing and trusting that I can do it with just swinging and not having to move through the box.”
In her junior year, Fifield hit .352 and recorded 14 home runs in 55 games played. Her 14 home runs tied her with teammate Denae Chatman for the GCU single season record. Fifield also earned another All-WAC first team honor.
This year, Fifield’s senior campaign, had another double-digit home run season. On Apr. 18, Fifield hit her 15th home run of the season which broke GCU’s single-season home run record.
Days before that, Fifield hit her 13th home run of the season and her 36th home run of her career in a 13-11 win over Utah Tech. The blast over the right-field wall broke the GCU all-time home run record.
“It’s kind of crazy because I honestly had no idea I was even coming close to any of those records,” Fifield said. “So when I found out, I was like, ‘there’s no way,’ ‘are you sure you’re talking about the right person?'”
When Fifield hit the home runt that broke the school’s all-time record, it made for a special experience.
“It was such a relieving feeling, and having my teammates cheer me on and have that joy for me It brought back so many memories not only from when I was little, but it brought back all memories of why I’m here and why I play the sport that I do.” Fifield said.
Fifield has also been tabbed as one of the best hitters in college softball this year. The El Paso native ranks first nationally in RBIs (85), RBIs per game (1.49) and total bases (149), as well as being fourth for home runs (21), seventh in home runs per game (.37) and 10th in doubles (18) this season. With 85 RBIs this season, Fifield needs three more RBIs to match a WAC single-season RBI record set in 2012.
Fifield now aims to make this year even more special as the Lopes are back in the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row after winning the WAC Tournament last weekend.
GCU’s Los Angeles regional visit last year ended with two losses but with five returning starters, Fifield being one of them, and a starting pitcher, the Lopes are feeling confident about getting redemption in 2023.
“I think this past weekend we really showed that we wanted to go out there compete and have fun. We showed out and we did that in the WAC Tournament, which is super awesome, but I think we are just ready to get after it and show everyone who GCU actually is.”
Fifield and Grand Canyon will take on No. 2 UCLA in the NCAA softball regional for the second straight season. The Los Angeles Regional also includes San Diego State and Liberty.
Here is a look at the Los Angeles Regional Schedule (Courtesy: GCU Athletics)
Friday, May 19
- Game 1: GCU vs. UCLA at 6 p.m. MT, ESPN+
- Game 2: Liberty vs. San Diego State at 9 p.m. MT, ESPNU
Saturday, May 20
- Game 3: Winner of Game 1 vs. winner of Game 2 at 3 p.m. MT
- Game 4: Loser of Game 1 vs. loser of Game 2 at 5:30 p.m. MT
- Game 5: Winner of Game 4 vs. loser of Game 3 at 8 p.m. MT
Sunday, May 21
- Game 6: Winner of Game 3 vs. winner of Game 5 at 4 p.m. MT
- Game 7: Winner of Game 6 vs. loser of Game 6 (if necessary) at 6:30 p.m. MT
All regional games will be broadcast on ESPN networks.