Lauren Wells is a pitcher on the Eastern Michigan University softball team who comes from Lowell, Ind., which is about an hour southeast of Chicago.
Wells, a junior, said she has been playing softball since she was about six or seven years old.
Like many of her teammates, she was a multi-sport athlete before making the choice to stay with softball.
“I played basketball and volleyball, but I had to quit both because of softball,” Wells said.
Wells said her choice to go down to one sport was not an easy one.
“I quit basketball going in to high school,” Wells said. “Volleyball was a little bit harder for me to give up, but I think it was my sophomore year of high school [when I gave it up].”
Once the time came to decide, Wells explained the reasoning behind her choice.
“I devoted my summers and everything to softball, so I was the most involved in that one, so I just chose that path and I liked it the most,” Wells said.
In high school, Wells had a scary moment when she found out she had a brain tumor.
“It was my sophomore year [of high school],” Wells said. “I could have woken up and been blind, basically, so I had to get surgery for it.”
Before the doctors removed the tumor, Wells got some good news.
“It was non-cancerous,” Wells said. “I was very lucky with that. So I had my surgery, and now everything’s good.”
When she goes home, Wells, like her best friend, second baseman Amanda Stanton, has one thing on her mind when she gets there.
“I go see my dog first,” Wells said. “Obviously my sister is the other person I probably hang out with the most.”
When she hangs out with her sister, there are two things Wells likes to do.
“Back in Indiana, it’s not that exciting,” Wells said. “We usually just go shopping. I like to shop, so I make her go with me, or go to the movies … anything like that.”
Wells is not very picky when it comes to her movies.
“I love movies really,” Wells said. “Disney movies [mostly], [but] ‘Harry Potter’ is my favorite … anything really, no specific genre.”
Her variety spans from her choices in movies to her choices of music as well for the most part.
“Really no screamo or heavy metal, but I listen to just about everything, I guess,” Wells said.
At home, there are two types of food Wells said she really enjoys.
“My mom makes really good stuffed peppers,” Wells said. “That’s my all-time [favorite]. “And pizza; I live an hour away from Chicago, so we usually head up there to get pizza since it’s really good
Wells said Giordano’s, near downtown Chicago, is her favorite pizza restaurant.
She is majoring in psychology with a minor in coaching, but says she might change that to sports psychology so she can use it toward her eventual goal of being a coach.
“I’m not sure yet,” Wells said. “I’m kind of figuring that out.”
Stanton said her best friend is someone she looks up to on the field.
“Wells is my best friend,” Stanton said. “On the field, Wells is always the one I kind of go to and talk about what’s going on with situations in the game. I’m really proud of her for coming in and hitting all of a sudden … She’s confident in hitting and her pitching is coming along. She’s still working and hanging in there, she’ll come around.”
The hitting has been a recent development for Wells.
“I think it was after the [Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne] game,” Wells said. “I hit a little bit last year, but I decided this year that we wanted to do it and then randomly [Baird] told me to pick up a bat, and from there on, since we were really struggling with hitting at the bottom of our lineup, she decided to give somebody else a chance and decided [it was] the pitcher’s time to swing the bat.”
Wells said the hitting provides a different feeling in her game, but looks at it as a way to improve, not added responsibility.
“It’s very different, but I kind of like it because it’s a change of pace for the game,” Wells said. “I go into the dugout and I just sit there sometimes and think about what I could have done differently with the batters, but with hitting, you have to focus on your next at bat, so now you have two separate components of the game: you have the defense and offense. It kind of takes my mind off just having one job.”
Off the field, Stanton said she and Wells can almost always be seen in the same place together.
“We’ve been living together since freshman year,” Stanton said. “We’re roommates. We hang out all the time. She’s my best friend; we do everything together. We drive home together, we go home, we hang out even when we go home … in the offseason, over the summer. We’re pretty much inseparable.”
Senior catcher Courtney Loe had good things to say about Wells and how she is on the field.
“I just know that she wants it really bad,” Loe said. “She wants to do well for herself and for the team, most importantly. I know that she carries a lot on her shoulders and it’s nice to have that because you know that when she goes out there, she’s going to get the job done. She wants to do good for the team and you can just see that in the way she pitches.”
Loe said Wells is someone who is easy to talk to, but makes you laugh at the same time.
“She is somebody who I like to talk to because she’s a good listener,” Loe said. “She always cracks me up. I don’t think there’s a time when I’m around her and I’m not laughing. So that’s nice to have.”