NPF News


Superstar pitcher Lauren Bay is ready to throw heat for the expansion Chicago Bandits

She’s excelled at the collegiate level as a member of the Oklahoma State University softball team. Then she competed for the Canadian national softball team that finished 5th at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Now Canada native Lauren Bay is ready to take her skills to the professional level.

Bay, a 23-year-old southpaw, will make her professional debut with the expansion Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League. Bay and Jennie Finch, an Olympic gold medalist and former Arizona All-American, will anchor a pitching staff that will be the envy of the new league.

“I’m really excited,” Bay said. “There are great opportunities here. Chicago is a great sports town. So I am really, really excited.”

Her girl-next-door smile hides the fierce competitor within -- Bay can flat out pitch. As a Cowgirl at Oklahoma State, she was one of the most feared pitchers in college softball. Bay was named the Big XII Player of the Year and Oklahoma State’s Student Athlete of the Year in 2003. She was also a three-time First Team All-Big XII player. Bay holds the strikeout record at Oklahoma State and is in the top ten of every statistical category.

“It was a good time at Oklahoma State,” Bay said. “Coming from Canada, I didn’t know what do expect. The college life was truly amazing. Each year was a stepping stone for me to become a better ball player. The whole experience was positive.”

It was the pitching skills she honed at Oklahoma State that caught the attention of the Canadian national softball team. Her selection for the 2004 Summer Olympics was an easy one.

“Lauren is a hard throwing lefty with a devastating change-up,” said Softball Canada head coach Mike Renney. “She has the ability to shut down any team. Over the past few years, she has steadily improved to the point that she is now regarded as one of the top young pitchers in the game worldwide.”

Those accolades have become the norm for the talented pitcher, who began playing softball at the age of 12. Bay owes much of her success to her family.

“Ever since I was little, they’ve always been there,” Bay said. “They’ve done some amazing things for me to help me get where I am. So my mom and dad have been one of the biggest support systems in my life.

Of course, she can’t go anywhere without someone asking about her famous brother, Jason, an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I am extremely happy for him,” Bay said of her brother, who was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 2004. “Seeing what he did, I think that’s great. We’re really close. I’m his number one fan. We talk a lot on the phone.”

Bay refuses to rest on her laurels. She’s training hard in preparation for the start of the softball season, which begins June 2.

“Before the season, I lift weights four times a week,” Bay said. “I do lots of running and stretching. I like to run -- even if it’s just to jog -- at least six times a week. When the season ends, I take some time off from pitching. Starting in January, I started to throw again.”

One of the more interesting training regimes she began this year was working with Motion DNA, an Arizona-based company that specializes in motion-capture technology and biomechanics. She was tested by Motion DNA founder Zig Ziegler, who worked closely with her to improve her pitching form.

“I had an injury to my drag leg in 2003,” Bay said. “Since then, I’ve been struggling to get back to where I was before the injury. I’m slowly getting back to that level. To be able to see what my body is doing from an objective point -- with Motion DNA’s analysis -- is very beneficial. I can see why my leg was being stressed and why I hurt it. Now I understand and I can see instant feedback. I’m better able to fix what I need to on the field. Zig and his staff are really into flexibility, which helps me throw the best way possible. They focus on things that are basic, but sometimes the little things make all the difference.”

The sky is the limit for this talented pitcher. She hopes to play for the Canadian national team again during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

“It was such a positive experience,” Bay said of the 2004 Summer Olympics. “It was the experience of a lifetime. Every time I think about it, I re-live it. Being around all those great athletes was amazing. And I love to travel. We’re lucky because sports can take you places you otherwise wouldn’t be able to go.”

Bay is hoping her professional career will thrive and the interest in the National Pro Fastpitch League will skyrocket.

“I think the league will do really well,” Bay said. “The competition and talent are outstanding.”

For Chicago Bandits tickets and information go online to

Article written by Curt Blakeney

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
February 2003
November 2002
July 2002
December 2001