Ever since she was playing softball in her backyard, La Salle-Peru senior Addie Duttlinger had her sights set on playing at the college level.
That longtime goal became a reality when she signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball at Saint Louis University, an NCAA Division I program and a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“Playing Division I softball has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl,” Duttlinger said. “Growing up playing catch in the yard with my dad has grown to me playing for a team that was the A10 regular-season champions this past year. This is an incredible opportunity, and I feel so grateful for my family and past coaches who have shown so much support to be along this journey.”
Duttlinger considered many other schools, but she said Saint Louis always has been at the top of the list.
“This is an incredible opportunity and I feel so grateful for my family and past coaches who have shown so much support to be along this journey.”— Addie Duttlinger, La Salle-Peru senior
“I chose Saint Louis for many, many reasons, but what caught my eye was the amount of nursing majors who have gone through the softball program,” Duttlinger said. “I wanted to find a high-level team that allowed me to also pursue my career goal in nursing, and Saint Louis had just that and more.
“From the very beginning, I felt at home in the beautiful campus, and the coaches and people there drew me even closer to my goal of becoming a Billiken.”
Duttlinger will be a catcher and outfielder for Saint Louis just as she has been during her career at L-P.
“At Saint Louis, I will bring speed and another level of competitiveness,” Duttlinger said. “I always strive for the best, and I can’t wait to be part of a team that shares my same goals.”
Duttlinger was a NewsTribune All-Area first-team selection last season and a second-team pick as a sophomore. She was voted All-Interstate 8 Conference and to the Illinois Coaches Association Class 3A All-State second team.
As the Cavs’ leadoff hitter, she led the area in runs (48) and ranked second in steals (36), triples (3) and doubles (12) while hitting .472, which ranked sixth in the area.
“She’s an athlete,” L-P coach Randy Huebbe said. “She’s quick with her hands. Her speed for outfield is going to be important there. She’s an awesome catcher. I think she’ll adjust well to the college level.”
Duttlinger is the first L-P softball player to sign with a Division I program since Kaitlyn Gibson signed with Ball State University in 2021.
“It says a lot about our program,” Huebbe said. “We’re sending more and more girls to college every year. It says a lot for the hard work the athletes here put in to get where they want to go. They’re just hard workers.”
Duttlinger joins a Billikins program that went 30-25 overall last season and 20-5 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“I feel forever blessed with this incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to represent La Salle-Peru at SLU,” Duttlinger said.