Twitter - @ValpoSoftball | @Andigator12  Instagram - @ValpoSB | @andythealligatorvusb (Team mascot, given to the team by Andie)


Wednesday, March 23 - Jorgi Calombaris blog post

Andie has enjoyed a lot of Valpo firsts since being drafted to the softball team. She has been a part of VUSB for nearly six weeks now, and we have been taking as much time as we can to get Andie acclimated with life at Valpo.

Andie was able to experience her first VU basketball game in February. While at the game, she met a lot of Valpo athletes in the stands and enjoyed some pizza, which is her favorite food. Andie not only got to experience a Valpo win but she also received some face time on ESPN, as we strategically placed her behind the visiting hoop in attempts to get her on TV, and it worked! Andie and the rest of VUSB enjoyed their time spent together and then parted ways as the team left for their long spring break trip.

We didn’t see Andie physically over spring break as we traveled to Kentucky, South Carolina, and Las Vegas but we kept in contact with her, mainly through text and the Instagram account that was created to follow our team mascot, Andy the Alligator. Andy serves as a perfect reminder for what is important in life and helps us to keep the game of softball in perspective. Andy the Alligator went on some fun adventures with us and you can check them out by following @AndyTheAlligatorVUSB on Instagram.

Upon returning to campus after our lengthy spring break trip, it did not take long for us to meet up with Andie. She rushed over to campus on the first free weekend we had as a team in the last month to spend some much needed time together. Andie then experienced a few more Valpo firsts.  Her first meal at the Union occurred. as well as her first college dorm room experience. Andie, once again, enjoyed some pizza along with some members of VUSB in the Union, all while seeing what it is like to spend time on a college campus without parents around.

After we had dinner, we went over to Beacon Hall and Andie and members of VUSB hung out. We watched a movie and talked until it was nearing time for Andie to leave. We asked Andie if she was ready to go and she promptly answered no. She would have stayed forever if her dad didn’t text to say he was there to take her home. We were sad to see Andie leave but excited to have her back on campus in just a few short days.

Any time spent with Andie is time cherished by VUSB. We constantly find ourselves laughing and smiling when we are around her. There is never a moment where Andie is not talking or cracking a joke and that is one of the many reasons why we love her so much. We have all been touched by Andie in the little time we have been around her and we cannot wait for her to experience her first VU softball home conference series as we take on Northern Kentucky April 1st and 2nd! Come out to the VU Softball field next weekend and help cheer on all of VUSB, Andie included.

Monday, February 8 - Valpo Softball Welcomes Andie Kalemba to Crusader Family

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It’s a special day in any athlete’s career when they get the chance to sign with a Division I school to continue playing their chosen sport. Monday evening, the Valparaiso University softball program –in conjunction with Team IMPACT – had the opportunity to welcome a very special new member into the team in a moving signing ceremony, as 12-year-old Andie Kalemba signed a Letter of Agreement to officially be drafted into the Crusader squad and immediately become a part of the Valpo program.

Andie, a native of Saint John, Ind., was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia – a rare genetic condition which affects many parts of the body - when she was just eight months old. People with Fanconi Anemia may have bone marrow failure, physical abnormalities, organ defects, and an increased risk of certain cancers. She went through a bone marrow transplant on April 3, 2008.

Andie was paired with the Valparaiso University softball program thanks to the work of Team IMPACT, a nonprofit that creates team-based support systems for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. The idea of the program is to improve the quality of life for the children, as well as to give them an opportunity to experience the team atmosphere and have some fun. Team IMPACT looks to have children drafted onto a local college team, and following that, the team invites its newest team member to games and practices, forging a relationship that continues over time.

Over the last few weeks, Andie had the opportunity to meet the Crusaders and attend some practices, but Monday served as her signing ceremony to officially join the Valpo program. Joined by her parents – Stan and Michelle – as well as Crusader softball head coach Kate Stake, Andie put pen to paper, becoming a part of the Valpo softball program and a Crusader for life. Following her signing, some of her new teammates presented Andie with various items of gear, including her own personalized jersey, and then the team put Andie to work right away, taking her to the gym to teach her some of the team’s drills in a brief practice session.

Over the next few months, fans can keep track of Andie’s time with the Crusaders by following at The page will be updated with photos, videos and posts as the team spends time with Andie and truly welcomes her as part of the Crusader program!

Friday, January 22Andie meets members of the Crusader softball team for the first time