Laurie "Pizza" Guinta
As a Rockford native, Laurie began playing softball in the late 70s at Rockford East High School, where she earned all-conference honors. This was only the beginning of a 36-year softball career, which has seen “Pizza” play for numerous state and national championship teams.
She began playing after high school with the Girogi Girls in 1980, but soon moved to more competitive teams as Prairie Moon Saloon, Kinney Shoes, John Slack, Ace of Diamonds, Sandy’s Amoco/Cubbys, Lithiuian/Blackhawk, and Add A Bath Demarini/Kaisers.
After 30 years of USSSA play, she reflects that she has been very fortunate to have played on so many great teams and with so many great teammates.
With a career batting average of .610 and a primary position as pitcher, Laurie earned numerous all-state and all-NIT honors. Highlighted by an MVP selection during the 1989 Class C State Tournament.
She recognizes teammates, Wendy Fudge, Toodie Moss, Vicki Brown, and Meghan Murray as a few of the best players she has shared the field with over the years, while mentioning Al Dalhmier, Tim Gifford, and Dick Hahn among some the great coaches that she has had the privilege to play for over the years.
She thanks the USSSA with providing her the opportunities to have met so many great people that have developed into so many great friendships that have lasted a lifetime. She also thinks it is great that she has had the experience to have played with the second generation of some of her teammates.
Even though Laurie’s funniest softball experience landed her on her butt, while pitching and falling backwards over the pitching rubber, she got back on her feet and dusted herself off to be honored as one of the newest members of the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame.