DULUTH - In memory of the late Mandy Matula, the University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, in partnership with the Matula family, has established the UMD Softball 1 Four Mandy Matula Fund.
The fund will provide financial support for the Bulldog softball program.
Matula, who died this past spring at the age of 24, was a starting pitcher and utility player with the Bulldogs from 2007-08 to 2010-11.
She wrapped up her UMD playing days with a .304 lifetime batting average and posted an 11-9 record in 31 career pitching appearances.
Matula, who missed her entire junior season while recovering from knee surgery, was a member of UMD's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and an active volunteer in the Duluth community during her time with the Bulldogs.
Her No. 14 jersey will be officially retired this spring, making Matula the first UMD Division II athlete to be so honored.
In addition, No. 14 decals and patches will adorn UMD's softball uniforms and batting helmets during the 2014 season.
"The beautiful spirit and soul of our Bulldog sister, Mandy Matula, will live on through all of us and remain in our hearts forever," said UMD head coach Jen Banford. " We will always remember her contagious smile and how she lived each day to its fullest. Mandy was an all-around amazing young woman on and off the field and we are thankful to have been a part of her life. She emulated everything we want a Bulldog softball player to be and this fund bearing her name is a tribute to her. The Bulldog family is also proud to honor Mandy by retiring the No. 14 - this is something that Mandy would be extremely proud of."
Donations to the UMD Softball 1 Four Mandy Matula Fund can be made on-line here.