Quigley one of 1st softball players named to Hampton Athletic Hall of Fame
By: Devon Moore
Thursday, August 9, 2018 | 10:27 PM
Kelly Quigley may reside halfway around the world, but her sporting achievements won’t leave the halls of Hampton High School.
She earns the honor this month, along with former classmate and teammate Nicole Fedell, of becoming the first softball players to be inducted into the Hampton Athletic Hall of Fame.
It’s an apt honor — as a freshman in 1998, Quigley started at catcher, led the team in hitting and made the North Hills News Record All-Area team to lead Hampton softball to its first playoff appearance.
“I was definitely surprised and honored,” said Quigley from her home in Brisbane, Australia, where she works at Hatch Ltd., an engineering firm.
“You kind of feel like you’re living all of it in the moment, and then it’s been 17 years and you wonder what happened. It’s nice going back and remembering what you did achieve in high school.”
Quigley, a self-described “big, lefty hitter,” was a multi-sport athlete who also lettered in basketball. In softball, she started at catcher for three years before transitioning to first base for her senior year.
It’s a position she would also hold in college as a three-year starter at Akron.
Though she won’t be able to make the ceremony, her father, Mark, will accept the award on her behalf.
“My dad was an influence; I played rec league for Hampton Township when I was quite young,” she said. “I played slow pitch for a year and quickly found fast pitch to be more exciting.
“You can’t say enough for team sports and how they shape you,” said Quigley, who graduated in 2001. “You see people that have that athletic experience know how to work together. They know that it’s not about themselves, it’s about the greater goal.”
She would find success on the diamond with Fedell as her teammate and battery-mate. They also played on the Pittsburgh Spirit travel squad together.
“We always played together,” Quigley said. “Once you have that bond, it’s pretty special. We played together before we went off to different schools.”
Nicole served at the team’s ace, and remembers her favorite catcher fondly.
“We got to the point where you learn how each other operate,” Fedell said. “So you don’t even have to talk about what you’re going to do anymore.
“I can’t think of anyone I’d want to be on a team with more than Kelly Quigley. She’s an incredibly hard worker.”
Ron Fedell, who has coached softball for nearly two decades and still serves as coach for the Hampton varsity team, nominated both for the honor.
“I couldn’t pick two better softball players to be the first in the hall of fame,” he said. “They were the heart and soul of that team as freshmen all the way up to being seniors.”
Quigley credits parents Mark and Terry for supporting her through college, where she traveled plenty for the softball team. She earned a chemical engineering degree, which led her to Hatch in Station Square as an intern – and eventually to a job with a company she’s never left.
After a stint in Toronto, an opportunity in the land down under arose and she went for it. Though her softball days are numbered, she stays active living with husband Ben and 6-month-old daughter Addison.
“Cricket is more the sport over here,” said Quigley, who still tries to visit Pittsburgh once a year, where her parents still live in the home she grew up in. “But I stay active and took up running just to stay fit. Ran a few marathons. You always have that drive to do something, you just have to find that something to do.”
Devon Moore is a freelance writer.