For senior Laura Saladrigas, the last four seasons of softball have been special. The pitcher for the NSU women’s softball team is a true competitor and is considered one of the team’s leaders.
Saladrigas is a Florida native who was born in Hollywood and raised in Cooper City. The 21-year-old biology major was introduced to the sport at the age of 6, when she was on the local children’s tee ball team.
Prior to NSU, Saladrigas played softball at Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches, Fla,. under Coach Glenn Ikalina. She excelled on the field and earned the team’s “Most Valuable Player” and “Most Valuable Defensive Player” awards. She was also named first team all-county by the Miami Herald and the Sun Sentinel.
During Saladrigas freshman year at NSU, she started in 35 games as either the designated hitter or pitcher. Over the course of the season, she was ranked fourth overall on the team with a .419 slugging percentage and fifth with a .381 on-base percentage.
Her success continued during her sophomore and junior years. As a second-year player, Salagrigas led the team with in-batting averages, slugging percentages, on-base percentages, runs batted in, home runs, triples, doubles and total hits.
During her junior year, Saladrigas racked up 51 games as a starter and set a new single season NSU record with 13 homeruns, while batting in a team best 44 runs. Salagrigas was one of the first NSU players to throw a no-hitter in NSU’s 12-0 victory over Webber International University.
I sat down with Saladrigas and asked her a few questions:
How did you start playing softball?
My brother always played baseball. He’s five-and-a-half years older than me, so right when I was little, I played tee ball as soon as I could. So, then it just went to softball. And the rest is history.
How would you describe your time at NSU?
I wouldn’t change it for the world. I would definitely say it’s the best four years of my life. It’s been an experience that I’ll never be able to replace and playing softball has made it that much better.
Of your four seasons playing softball, which one do you consider the best?
Definitely my sophomore year. My sophomore year is when I got All-American honors. That would definitely be my best year.
How did you feel when you won All-American honors?
I didn’t really expect it. I was shocked, mostly. But, obviously, I was proud of myself. It was a great honor to get that, especially being just a sophomore.
How would you describe the way you play the game?
I would describe it as intense. I definitely feel that, when I’m on the field, nothing else matters and I’m just completely focused on the game.
What would be some of the obstacles that you face being a student and a player?
Definitely time management, especially with our schedules, since we have so many games and we’re traveling so much. I would think that being a student and an athlete, it’s just hard to manage school work, homework, class time — all that with playing a sport, practice, workouts, games, traveling, etc. It’s just really hard to get all that done and fit into 24 hours, but it’s definitely doable.