BOONE GROVE | Kirsten Spangenberg has pretty much seen it all in her first 18 years of life.
The Boone Grove senior arrived at school four years ago and immediately staked her claim to the starting catching position. A claim she hasn’t relented since she was a freshman.
In addition to becoming the face of Boone Grove softball over the last four years, Spangenberg has traveled the world, landing on six of the seven continents.
All of her life experience has led up to what Spangenberg is calling a “bittersweet” final season with the Wolves as she prepares to leave the game and head to Missouri State to study criminology.
“I’ve tried to take each different scenario I’ve experienced in life and with my travels and make them work for me in softball,” Spangenberg said. “I take each situation on the field as a learning experience and scenario that we can grow from.”
Spangenberg has done plenty of growing since her freshman year when she joined an experienced roster. The Wolves were going through a transition as Lauren and Taylor Johnson had graduated along with catcher Morgan Doelling and Ron Saunders took over the program. Seeing the opportunity for immediate playing time, Spangenberg embraced the catching position.
“I really wanted it and I was just so excited to be part of the team,” Spangenberg said. “I consider myself very lucky that the position was available and I was able to perform well enough to earn the job.”
Spangenberg spent her first two seasons learning the varsity ropes while catching for Kaitlin Stone. The last two seasons she’s taken over as the knowledgeable veteran while mentoring sophomore pitcher Amanda Hawrot and her younger teammates.
“I just try to tell them that they are a part of this team and they’re looked at the same as seniors,” Spangenberg said. “Whenever I need to calm anyone down, I tell them to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. This all moves so fast and it’s gone before you know it.”
Spangenberg’s advice is much needed for a Boone Grove team that is littered with underclassmen. The Wolves haven’t won a sectional title since 2009, a streak that Saunders is hoping to break this season with Spangenberg leading the way.
“Kirsten is the main leader of our team and she does a great job of keeping the younger girls in check,” Saunders said. “She knows what to do to get them to follow her and that comes from her experience.”