TAMPA, Fla. – As a junior in high school, Lauren Evans decided she would try her hand at volleyball, just for fun.
She made the team.
Evans, now a senior with the University of South Florida Bulls softball nine, has spent her career adjusting – including a transition from first base to shortstop, and her addition to Great Britain’s national team.
“I like to think I’m a quick learner,” said Evans, sitting in the dugout on a cool day at the softball complex. “I can pick up on things very easily.”
The Land O’Lakes, Fla., native spent 2017 switching positions — after starting all 61 games at first base in her sophomore season, Evans was forced into action at shortstop as a junior due to an injury to their starter.
She had only played the position sparingly in high school.
Evans obtained her British citizenship in 2013 specifically for the purpose of joining Great Britain’s Junior National team when she was 18 years old. Her mother was born in Great Britain, allowing her to qualify to be a dual citizen.
The infielder was never invited to the United States National Team camps, but did not feel slighted.
“I really think that me playing for Great Britain was supposed to happen,” said Evans. “I’m really proud to be British and I’m proud to represent my heritage.”
Great Britain was one of the 16 countries who qualified last summer for the 2018 Women’s Softball World Championship, coming this August in Chiba, Japan.
The USF softball team is well represented nationally. Long-time USF Women’s Softball manager Ken Eriksen has managed and coached with Team USA since 1997.
While his club is diverse, Eriksen says playing on the national stage is not something he searches for during recruiting.
“We look for good people who can play ball,” said Eriksen. “This isn’t an easy school to get into so the pool of players is limited by itself.”
Evans is hitting .268 this season with five RBI and two doubles.
As for now Evans says she is focused on tomorrow, winning the conference with USF, doing well at the World Championships in Japan this summer and, graduating on time.