Collura talks the talk, walks the walk for Woodridge softball

Roger Gordon
Correspondent
Woodridge Bulldogs

Alivia Collura is not afraid to speak her mind, and that is not a bad thing when it comes to the Woodridge softball team.

The senior catcher is the team’s vocal leader, the most verbal leader on the team.

“Alivia’s leadership ability has made her a better catcher,” Bulldogs head coach Dan Schneider said. “She’s the teammate who is going to tell you what you don’t want to hear when needed. That’s got an up and a down side, but she handles it well. She feels she and her teammates need to have tough skin.

"She’s very knowledgeable about the game, so she knows what she’s talking about. She has good advice for her teammates, and I think she does that pretty well without being too rough.”

Collura not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. She has the statistics to back it up. She is batting .388 with a team-high 13 singles. She is tied for the team lead with 19 RBIs. She also has homered twice, doubled four times and has scored six runs.

“Repetition over time has made Alivia a better hitter,” said Schneider. “She’s patient at the plate and sees the ball well. She knows she has the power to hit the ball over the fence, but she understands the philosophy that a single at times can score runs versus swinging for the fence when usually it’s all or nothing. She’s hitting in the cleanup spot, so she’s getting the opportunity to drive in runs. She’s buying into the philosophy. Her presence at the plate has improved.”

Collura’s latest exploits at the plate came April 27 when she singled three times and scored a run despite Woodridge’s 7-6 home loss to Metro Athletic Conference rival Springfield. The Bulldogs slipped to 6-12 overall and 4-7 in the MAC.

Collura began the week April 23 by singling in the Bulldogs’ 12-0 victory at home over Painesville Harvey, a game that was called after four-and-a-half innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. Junior Kendal Gregory fired a no-hitter.

The next day, on April 24 again at home, Collura singled and knocked in a run to help her team defeat Hudson Western Reserve Academy 5-4.

On April 26 Woodridge was routed 16-1 at conference rival Field.

Collura actually hurt her shoulder early in the season, so she has been the Bulldogs’ designated player as of late. She has only missed one game, though.

“Alivia has been cleared to come back to play catcher this week, so we’ll have her back behind the plate. She’s very excited about that,” Schneider said. “She has a good arm, the strongest arm of our catchers.

“As her confidence has grown, so has her hitting and the ability to be a better catcher,” said the coach. “She really loves the sports of softball.”