Softball player Mallory Duran-Sellers’ responsibilities are quite different from those of her teammates.
Duran-Sellers, a senior from Windsor, Colo., studying English education, is the only player on the team who is married. Duran-Sellers tied the knot with her husband Nick Sellers in May after he graduated from SIU. She said outside of softball, her husband is the best thing to her.
“He is really wonderful,” Duran-Sellers said. “He is really encouraging and has always been really supportive of me. Our lives look a little different right now, but he is a wonderful man.”
In addition to being a spouse, Duran-Sellers’ commitments continue to expand past catching fly balls and hitting line drives.
ran-Sellers said she is a Christian who spends a lot of her time as a church leader at Vine Community Church.
Duran-Sellers said being involved in church has helped her mature spiritually and given her the chance to help those in the community through outreach ministry.
“My husband leads a small group, so we lead people in their faith and enjoy time with other people who are a part of the community,” Duran-Sellers said. “Of course, serving the kids’ programs and working with little (kids) is a great thing.”
Duran-Sellers said she was 8 years old when she became interested in softball and began to play with family members. It wasn’t until later that she started to play at a competitive level. She said when she started to play travel ball, she averaged approximately 100 games per summer, with games located across the country.
When Duran-Sellers reached high school, she said her interest in basketball took precedence over softball, but at 5 feet 4 inches tall, her height didn’t give her the opportunity to pursue it as a career.
Duran-Sellers became a Saluki in 2009 on an athletic scholarship for softball. Although this is her last year at SIU, she said her involvement outside of softball is just as important as being an athlete.
Vontrell Lyles, a junior from Chicago studying fashion merchandising and member of the Vine, said Duran-Sellers displays great leadership skills in church and in the community.
“If I could describe Mallory, I would say she is friendly,” Lyles said. “She’s just a genuine person. At the Vine, there are a lot of nice people, but she is one of a kind.”
Duran-Sellers said she looks forward to her and her husband’s travel plans to the mountains in Yosemite, Calif., this summer to hike because she enjoys being outdoors and likes to rock climb.
Softball coach Kerri Blaylock said Duran-Sellers has been a joy to coach for four years and is great both inside and outside of the team.
“She’s a great kid,” Blaylock said. “She’s a great athlete, student, person and very consistent with her life.”
She said Duran-Sellers’ leadership skills are top-notch. Duran-Sellers has served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for four years and done a lot of community service work with children and reading programs in the community, Blaylock said.
“Mallory is a well-rounded person outside of softball,” Blaylock said.
Duran-Sellers said her post-graduate plans entail getting a teaching job at the high school level.
She said herself and two other seniors on the team, Alicia Junker and Haley Gorman, get emotional about ending their senior year, but she hopes to make the best of it and continue on with a successful life as an effective leader, wife and a devout humanitarian.