Getting to Know Team 37's Freshmen: Kelly Christner
Kelly Christner

Nov. 12, 2013

The Michigan softball season is just a few months away -- the first game is Saturday, Feb. 8. will be introducing one of the team's four freshmen each Tuesday during the month of November. Today meet Kelly Christner, an outfielder from Tinley Park, Ill.

What TV shows are waiting on your Netflix queue?
Recently, I've gotten into the show Friday Night Lights, and I love it!

What pregame music do you listen to and why?
Usually before games, I listen to Blink-182. They are my favorite band, and their music is always able to pump me up. Before every game, the last song I listen to is Anthem Part Two by Blink-182; it's partly a superstition type of thing and partly because this is my favorite song.

Who is your role model?
My role model is my sister, Katie, who is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin. She also plays softball so I can always go to her if I have any questions or need help with anything because she understands what it is like to be a college athlete. I not only look up to her softball-wise, but I look up to her in every aspect of my life. She pushes me to be my best self, and she will always be my best friend.

What is your favorite softball memory?
My favorite softball memory is not a specific at bat or game, but I will always remember being able to play eight years of travel/school ball with my sister.

When did you know Michigan was the right school for you?
Growing up, surprisingly, I was a huge Penn State fan. Because of the rivalry between the schools, I was not very fond of Michigan. When I took my first visit to Michigan, though, I realized how amazing it is. Most importantly, the softball program has a great history that I wanted to be a part of. On top of that, the other sports, the campus and the academics make this place one of the best (or THE best) in the country.

What athlete's career would you most like to have?
I would love to have Jessica Mendoza's career. As a lefty outfielder who isn't a slapper; I've tried to model my style of play after her.

What sport would you be playing if you weren't playing softball and why?
I would probably be playing soccer. Soccer was always tied softball as my favorite sport while I was growing up, and eventually I had to choose one. I am so glad that I chose softball, but I still miss playing soccer. My favorite part about soccer was that it was a contact sport. I loved pushing people around on the field (I got this from my mom!). It was much more acceptable on a soccer field than it would be on a softball field, so this is one main part that I definitely miss.

What is your dream job?
My dream job is to own a bakery with my sister in Ocean City, New Jersey. Since I love to bake and she is really good with money, it would work out perfectly! This is our favorite place, so we have always talked about how all of our cousins and us are going to move there and start up our own businesses.

What has been your favorite Michigan memory so far?
My favorite memory so far was the Notre Dame football game. I was hosting a recruit that weekend, so I was able to go on the field before the game to take pictures. Our seats ended up being midfield in the fourth or fifth row. These were the best seats I had gotten in all the games I have been to, and it was for one of the most important games! There was also a record-breaking crowd for this game at 115,109, so overall this night was just amazing.

What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite books are the Twilight series. I know that this is an extremely girly answer to give, but I really do love these books. I finished each of these in a few days. Although I like the movies, nothing can compare to the books.

Who is in your Twitter avatar with you and why?
Mary Sbonek, a sophomore on the softball team, is in my Twitter picture with me. I've gotten really close with Mary already this year, and I love this picture of us! My background picture is of our whole team huddling up before one of our games. Every time I look at this picture, it makes me realize once again how lucky I am to be a part of this team.

What celebrity or public figure would you like to be Facebook friends with?
I would love to be Facebook friends with Derek Jeter. It would be so cool if I could just message him and ask him questions about sports, life or anything in general.

What is your earliest softball memory?
My earliest softball memory is playing my first coach-pitch game. Upgrading from the tee to actually pitching the ball was a big step, so this was a memorable day! I remember getting a hit, and then my sister wasn't able to hit the coach's pitching, so they had to bring the tee out for her. I'll never let her live this down! My sister and I always jokingly make fun of each other for little things like this.

What was it like to put on a Michigan uniform for the first time?
It was amazing. I remember after I put it on I just stared at myself in the mirror for a good five minutes. Since I was 15 or 16, I had been looking forward to the day when I could finally represent the University of Michigan, and the feelings I got were even better than what I was expecting.


• Past Q&A: Megan Betsa

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