Saluki catcher leads young team

Junior catcher Allie Vadeboncouer was a Saluki softball team leader at the plate last season and finished the year with a .317 batting average while belting eight home runs and 51 RBI. As a catcher, she also helped the team’s freshman pitching staff develop. Here, she talks about her offseason as well as the team’s upcoming spring season.

Daily Egyptian: How did you spend your offseason?

Allie Vadeboncouer: After catching all but four innings of the spring 2012 season, I was looking forward to a little down time. I spent a month doing as little as I could. Then I started playing in June for a couple tournaments with the Bloomington Lady Hearts. Unfortunately, in the second tournament, I was hit by a pitch and broke my hand after hitting two home runs. Luckily, it was a clean break and healing time was short, and I didn’t miss very much at the beginning of the fall.

DE: Can you talk a little bit about the fall season and what positives the team took from it?

AV: This fall season, we pitched pretty well. We won six games and, in all honesty, probably should have won all eight. Our freshmen were all impressive when they got a chance. I expect to get contributions from all of them this spring. As usual, our offense is always going to be a threat, and we hope to continue that this spring as well.

DE: The pitching staff was dominated by freshmen last year. What do you expect this season after they have all had a year under their belts?

AV: The pitchers didn’t have a lot of experience coming in last year, and they still did very well. This year, with a whole year under their belt, hopefully things are even better. We can be dominant on the mound.

DE: You played some shortstop in high school. Did you play catcher, too? How did you get into catching?

AV: I played some shortstop in high school when I got a break from catching to give me somewhere else to help the team. I started catching when I was 10. I played baseball with all the boys and, to me, being the only girl and putting the catcher’s gear on was like playing dress up. Ever since then, that’s where I’ve been. I love it, and I love being in every pitch.

DE: Mallory Duran-Sellers was a major contributor for the team last year. How will you replace her?

AV: Well, it’s kind if hard to replace someone like Mallory. She was an incredible player all around. But we will just have to find other ways to get her job done with contributions from everyone.

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About Ben Conrady

Ben Conrady can be reached at bconrady@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext. 282.

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