Summer 2012

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Adrienne Monka concluded her Wildcat career as the all-time leader in slugging, on-base percentage and walks. Photo by Stephen J. Carrera.

Patience at the Plate

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With a sharp eye for the strike zone, senior Adrienne Monka racks up record number of free passes.

Adrienne Monka sure has patience. As a junior on the Wildcats’ softball squad last season, Monka led the country with 1.53 walks per game, which ranks second in NCAA Division I single-season history. The two-time first team All-American and Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award candidate earned another 50 free passes during the 2012 slate. Monka ranks eighth in NCAA history with more than 180 career walks. Monka is also the fourth Wildcat to hit 50 or more career home runs and concluded her Wildcat career as the all-time leader in slugging, on-base percentage and walks.

“Adrienne Monka’s instincts and preparation make her one of the most respected hitters in our conference,” said Northwestern softball coach Kate Drohan. “For the last four years, every opposing pitcher has been forced to alter their strategy because of her presence in the lineup.”

Monka’s patience may truly come in handy in what she hopes will be her future career: working as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“I don’t think I could sit behind a desk for my whole life,” Monka said of her post-softball career. “Being out in the field and being active is very important to me.”

Her interest should come as no surprise based on her family tree. Her grandfather was the director of evidence for the Los Angeles division of the FBI. “He has some really great stories about his time in the FBI,” said Monka, a sociology major from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Because the minimum age to join the bureau is 23, Monka still has a few years before turning her bat in for a badge. However, she should have no problem filling that time. In March the infielder was drafted by the Chicago Bandits, the defending National Professional Fastpitch champions. “Softball has been a part of my life for so long,” Monka said. “I’m not ready to give it up yet.”