For Lori, USSSA is synonymous with sunshine, good times and great friends. It all started at the tender age of 20 when high school pal, Kathy Blair, innocently asked Lori to play on a women’s team in need of infielders. It turned out to be such an enjoyable experience that she was soon playing for various teams four nights a week and weekend tournaments.
The natural migration from player to manager occurred soon after with Lori fielding teams made up of people who were not only good athletes but great friends.
Lori is grateful for the unwavering support of her family, especially her parents who continue to attend many of her games. Lori claims her parents are her biggest fans. So many players and umpires fondly greet her parents simply as “Mom” and “Dad” that a rookie umpire once asked, “Just how many kids do your parents have?”
Of the 90+ teams Lori has managed over the years, she’s most proud of the Rainbow Separations women’s team that was formed in 1997 by her and softball friends, Jodie Jones and Deb Jarvis. Not surprisingly, the Rainbow team has been quite successful playing in USSSA leagues and tournaments, winning multiple awards at the state and national levels. In fact, the Rainbow Separations team is still actively playing today.
In 2002, Lori’s USSSA career evolved from player to director when Brenda Paulson approached her to consider directing tournaments at Forest Hills. Eager to accept the challenge, she enthusiastically embraced the opportunity and was soon deeply involved directing women’s and men’s tournaments in Rockford, Byron and Freeport.
To date, Lori has overseen more than 155 tournaments, including NITs, State and National Championships. Her accomplishments as a director include two State Director Awards, two Distinguished Service Awards and the Award of Excellence. Lori acknowledges these accomplishments are made possible through the patient guidance of Brenda Paulson and the continued support of the past and present Forest Hills Diamonds team, including Brad Sommer, Lee Broach and Scottie Oliver.
“I’m humbled and honored to be inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame alongside some of the most accomplished softball players, umpires, directors and sponsors,” Lori said.
Lori would like to thank each of you for your support and friendship over the years and hopes to see you at one of her all-time favorite hangouts – the ball diamond.