SEATTLE — Danielle Lawrie-Locke is one of the most decorated players in University of Washington softball history. Now she’s hoping to win one more championship but this time for Team Canada at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The former Huskies pitcher has 136 career wins, six no-hitters, four perfect games and led Washington to its one and only national title in 2009.
In 2009, Lawrie was on top of the softball world. The national player of the year helped the Huskies sweep Florida in the National Championship, and Lawrie was the tournament MVP.
“Aside from having my girls, that was by far the best moment of my life,” said Lawrie.
Now she’s 32, a mother of two, a sports broadcaster, and she can still bring the heat.
“The art of competing is such a beautiful thing. The reason I chose pitching is because I ultimately love having control over what's going to happen,” said Lawrie.
That competitive spirit is one of the things her coaches and fellow teammates admire about her.
“Danielle Lawrie competitively is one of the most competitive women I've ever coached, she demands things, not just of herself, but everybody else around her,” said UW softball coach Heather Tarr.
"She is hands down one of my favorite pitchers to play behind, because of her fierceness and competitiveness. She will do whatever she possibly can to help the team to win,” said Jenn Salling, who was teammates with Lawrie at Washington and when they played together for Canada in the 2008 Olympics.
In 2012 and 2016 softball was not an Olympic sport, but now it’s back along with Lawrie and Team Canada.
“It's everything. It's funny because a lot of people have asked, ‘Oh, you've married your husband. You could've tried out for Team USA.’ And I would look at them as if they were stupid,” Lawrie said. “You're really going to say that? I am Canadian through and through. Part of me doesn't want to become a citizen, because I'm so passionate about Canada. At the last Olympic games, just getting to represent them and seeing how much fun we had. We sing the anthem together, and they are so proud of their athletes. I want to win a medal for our country. That's really what it comes down to. I know how hard we've worked.”
Lawrie will not only be playing for Canada, but this time around she has extra motivation with her husband and two girls supporting her every pitch. Lawrie is very passionate about her family, and she wants to be a great role model for her girls and for moms.
“When I get the ball in my hand and I'm going against you, everything runs through my head of how hard I've worked, what I've sacrificed, and me being away from those little kids, so if I'm not going balls to the wall then this is a waste of my time,” Lawrie said. “And it's really made it so much more fun knowing that I have my little girls, because it means so much more to me doing this. But I will never not compete. It's just a part of me.”