Amanda Lorenz Is Doing Amanda Lorenz Things In The NPF
Not much fazes USSSA Pride rookie Amanda Lorenz. Whether it's going from life as a collegiate student-athlete to that of a professional softball player in just a matter of days, or transitioning from playing in the college game to competing at the highest level of softball in the world, Lorenz remains on an even keel through it all.
The former University of Florida star, who was a four-time All-American with the Gators, has hit the ground running in her first campaign as a professional athlete in the National Pro Fastpitch. She currently leads the league in home runs and runs scored, with four and 12, respectively, and has been a staple in the first-place Pride's potent lineup this season.
Lorenz admits being a rookie feels like being a college freshman again, but like she did back in 2016 as a first-year student-athlete at Florida, when she batted a team-best .403 with 14 doubles, she has adjusted to her new circumstances better than most around her. Lorenz credits her Women's College World Series experience from earlier this month, as well as the hitting advice she's been given by her USSSA teammates, for her early success in the NPF.
"I came to the NPF fresh off the World Series and had been facing really good pitching before I got here," Lorenz told Softball America in a phone interview. "Learning from the older girls has also been really great. I’ve been picking a lot of people’s brains."
Among those who have been offering Lorenz next-level hitting tips are NPF veterans Kelly Kretschman and Megan Wiggins, who are two of the best hitters in league history with more than two decades of NPF experience between them. Lorenz expected when she became a member of the Pride that she and the other first-year pros on her squad would be treated like rookies, but she said that hasn't been the case. The Pride's veterans have treated her and her rookie teammates like professionals.
"We want (the rookies) to make an immediate impact on our team," Wiggins told Softball America. "We’re all here to help. We’ve been there and done that. We want our rookies to feel comfortable."
Perhaps the comfort Lorenz feels as a newcomer in the league and on her team is partly responsible for her ability to contribute immediately to the Pride's efforts to repeat as Cowles Cup champions in 2019. The familiar faces on Lorenz's team have also helped to ease any nerves she may have initially had. Lorenz played with USSSA teammate Nicole DeWitt at Florida, as well as with Sydney Romero for five years during her travel ball days with the OC Batbusters.
"It’s been so much fun to play with Nicole (DeWitt) and Sydney (Romero) again," Lorenz said. "I missed playing with them and having Sydney hit behind me. It feels normal for me. It’s been awesome to give her a high five before my first at-bat."
Along with her personal and team goals going forward as a professional softball player, Lorenz has aspirations to help the NPF blossom into what she knows it can become.
"I just want to help grow the game and help grow the league," Lorenz stated. "I want to help put it out there how awesome this league is and how awesome it is to watch us compete. Once you get that word out, people will keep coming back to it because it is really good softball."
For now, the rookie is just enjoying the ride as a professional athlete.
"I don’t have to worry about school in the morning or weights in the morning anymore," Lorenz said. "It’s cool to get paid and play softball."