Dubois having a dream career for Penn State softball

Courtesy photo by Mark Selders/Penn State Univesity Mont Vernon's Tori Dubois has become an offensive force for Penn State University the last two seasons.

Tori Dubois is living the dream. Her dream.

As a junior for the Penn State University women’s softball team, the former Bishop Guertin standout from Mont competing at the highest collegiate level, which was always her goal.

“Playing for Penn State is a dream come true for me,” Dubois said. “Especially growing up in a small town in New Hampshire. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy road.”

But Dubois’ ability has made it easier for most, and now that she reached her destination and is now thriving at it, it’s not only a dream come true but a goal attained. Dubois, an outfielder, is hitting .300 for the Nittany Lions, who are in a rebuilding year in the Big Ten.

“I’m dedicated my time and effort into getting here,” she said, “so I want to make my mark.”

Things had a way of working out for Dubois, who was recruited during her time at BG by current Penn State coach Amanda Lehotak, who at the time was the head coach at Texas San Antonio.

“That was just too far for me,” Dubois said. But then Lehotak got hired at Penn State, and a match was made.

Dubois has been arguably the top offensive player the last two seasons for the Nittany Lions, also contributing five homers and 19 RBIs this season, usually slotted in the middle of the Penn State order.

Dubois, after showing promise in 39 games as a freshman hitting .294, broke out during her sophomore season hitting a team best.346 with six homers and 30 RBIs, and being named to the All-Big Ten First Team and voted the Nittany Lions’ Offensive Player of the Year.

The ironic thing is that at the start of last season, Dubois was struggling at the plate and was frustrated. She sat down with hitting coach Jennifer Abrams and basically they came up with a back-to-basics plan.

“She told me to go out and ‘Do what you know how to do’,” Dubois said. “I went out there with that mindset and it worked for me.”

The hard work has paid off for Dubois. While at BG, she would head over before practice or also during the off season and work on her hitting and athleticism with noted area athletic gurus Bobby Tewksbary and Austin Wassemerman at their AB Athletic Development facility in Nashua. All that time and effort, as well as the routine, prepared her for her life as a student-athlete at a major university.

“It was honestly a smooth transition for me,” Dubois said. “In high school, every year I’d get up, got to school, got to AB, go home, get my (school) work done, and do it all over again the next day. Here I get up, go to class, go lift, go to watch film, practice.”

Dubois has lived and breathed softball most of her life. She played travel ball (ASA) against some of the best teams in the country in the off-seasons while at BG. That enabled her to make an easy adjustment to the college game.

“I’d have a college game and I’d see the pitcher and say, ‘Oh, I saw her play when we played in California’.”

Dubois is never at a loss for finding motivation. But one of the things that inspired her was her sister Jacklyn’s career at the University of Connecticut. She is now an acadmic advisor for student athletes at the University of Delaware. “To see here succeed for four years at UConn, she’s my biggest role model,” she said.

But now Dubois can be a leader for younger Nittany Lions. “I think that’s awesome,” she said. “I want to be the best player for my teammates that I can possibly be. If you do the very best you can, and not compare yourself to others, you’ll be successful. It’s all about creating the memory.”

Now Dubois is certainly at an institution that has been in the national spotlight the last several years for the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal – and back in it a bit with the HBO movie “Paterno.”

“What happened was very awful,” Dubois said. “It’s a different Penn State now. We’re trying to create a new legacy here and show the people of the country who we really are.”

We know who Tori Dubois really is – a local student athlete who is creating a great legacy of her own.

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With their 14-0 Great Northeast Athletic Conference record, the Rivier University men’s volleyball team goes into this week’s conference tournament as the top seed. The Raiders (22-6 overall) and No. 2 seed Wentworth (11-3) receive byes into Thursday’s semifinals. Riv will get the winner of Tuesday’s Emmanuel-Lasell quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Muldoon Center. If they win that, the Raiders will host the GNAC title match Saturday at a time tba, winner going to the NCAA Divison III tourney.

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Here’s the latest look at other local athletes doing well this spring at their respective schools:

Hudson’s Brittany Lambert (Alvirne) is having a good spring to wind up her athletic a career at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). She was named this week as the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) Field Athlete of the Week.

Lambert also was named the WPI Women’s Student-Athlete of the Week, as the senior won her first high jump competition of the season at the Amherst Spring Fling and ended the weekend atop the NEWMAC performance list with a clearance of 5-2.5. It was her ninth career win and third in as many trips to the ASF, helping the Engineers take the team crown for the third consecutive season. ….

Merrimack’s Amy Vegliante, a Bishop Guertin alum, is having a great start to the outdoor track season competing for Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. The senior recently captured the pole vault with a personal best (12-15) that topped her previous high by almost a foot at a meet hosted by Rider University. With that vault she met the qualification standards for the New England and ECAC championships…

Nashua’s Danielle Poublon, a sophomore at UMass-Lowell, tied for second in the high jump last week in the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Va., clearing

the 5-5 mark…..

Also, a couple of locals helped the UMass Lowell 4Ã-800 men’s relay team take fourth in the same Colonial Invitational, Hudson’s Noah Bellomo and Litchfield’s Sean Munnelly (7:49.93)….

Amhert’s Trevor Barrett had a goal in Plymouth State’s recent 12-8 men’s lacrosse win at Salem (Mass.) State…

Nashua’s Alana Murphy had a good start to the spring track season at Southern New Hampshire University as she finished second in the long jump at 16-5 as part of the Penmen’s winning effort in the recent Jim Sheehan Memorial Invitational at Fitchburg State.

Also in the same meet for SNHU, locals Sydney Orsorio (freshman, Milford) and Savannah Reinitzer (sophomore, Litchfield) did well. Orsorio was third in the shot put at 30-7 and sixth in the discus (88-3). Reinitzer was seventh in the 400 meter dash (1:12.06)…..

Nashua’s Duncan Holland had a personal best with a fifth place discus throw of 134-2 in the University of New Hampshire’s season opening meet…

Former Bishop Guertin standout Bridget Soraghan picked up her first career win for the Merrrimack College softball team this past season in the 3-2 nightcap of a doubleheader sweep of Adelphi. Getting the start, she gave up just four hits and a run over 5.1 innings. Soraghan retired eight in a row at one point. She struck out three and walked two…

Former Souhegan softball standout Hailey Yabroudy had an RBI single in Simmons College’s 5-1 nightcap win over Regis, completing a twinbill sweep…

Bishop Guertin Alum Blak Boudreau had another recent good faceoff day for Merrimack College, winning 19 of 26 (73.1 percent) but also picked up five ground balls to add to his nation-leading total…

Former Alvirne standout Greg Emmanuelson had two RBIs (walk, sac fly) in a recent 11-1 St. Joseph’s of Maine win over Husson.