Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Maddie Kapsimalis, who finished her second collegiate season on the softball diamond. It was a special interview for several reasons.
Although Maddie played her high school ball at Glenbrook South in a nearby suburb, I had not seen her play in person until this season when her Dayton Flyers played at Loyola. Maddie's father Greg and her godfather Chuck Gekas are longtime friends, which made it even more unlikely I had not seen her play.
Maddie had a stellar season, batting .358 after flirting with .400 for most of the season. As great as that season was, Maddie had even better stats in high school, where she put up a .407 average to rank her seventh all time in Illinois. She accomplished all of this while coping with type 1 diabetes.
A age six, Maddie was diagnosed with T1D, but that did not deter her from an athletic career. She set a goal to be a two-sport varsity athlete and she achieved that goal in her sophomore year. She went on to Drexel and then Dayton, putting up impressive stats along the way. Maddie speaks openly about dealing with T1D, but she has dealt with it so long, it is part of life. Maddie's courage and the difficulties T1D brings should not be minimized or overlooked.
The Flyers finished with their second-most wins in program history. The future looks bright for the team and Maddie. Entering her junior season, Maddie will assume a bigger leadership role, while continuing to put up impressive stats at bat and on defense.
Maddie discussed all of this in our interview. Soft-spoken and humble, Maddie is special on and of the field. Despite my loyalty to Loyola, I love watching players like Maddie and teams like Dayton. You can't help but like them. I already look forward to Dayton's next trip to Loyola.
I wrote more about Maddie and her career on TheEveryDayFan.com. Check the story and interview, along with all the great sports coverage on EDF.