Junior pitcher leads from the circle

Junior Lauren Bible prepares to throw a pitch from the pitching circle. 

Josh Pagett|Marlin Chronicle

Junior Lauren Bible has stood out as a pitcher in the VWU Softball starting rotation since she arrived on campus in the Fall of 2021. In her first season in a Marlins uniform, Bible pitched 92 innings in 21 games and 18 starts. Bible registered a 2.28 earned run average (ERA), while throwing for a 10-4 record with seven complete games and one shutout. 

Bible was a member of the 2022 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship team and was a crucial part of their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Amherst Regional Tournament win that advanced them to the super regionals where they ultimately lost to crosstown rival Christopher Newport University. Bible also garnered ODAC Third Team All Conference awards. 

In her sophomore year campaign, she was even better. In her 2022 season, Bible made 27 appearances pitching, including 15 starts. Bible pitched to a 15-2 record where she pitched 117.1 innings with nine complete games and two shutouts. She pitched to a 1.13 ERA with 67 strikeouts. Bible garnered even more awards in her second campaign. Bible was named to the Second Team All Region by National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), the NCAA Softball All Region team for the regional tournament that VWU hosted and First Team All Conference. 

After trying her hand at tennis, Bible started playing softball when she was in about first grade and has stuck with it ever since. “My parents signed me up for tennis as a kid, and I kept hitting the tennis ball out of the court. I had no idea what aim was,” Bible said. 

For Bible, her career hasn’t always been easy. Bible is a native of Danville, California, and played for a travel ball team full of NCAA Division I commits,  so all she knew was Division I. Bible’s travel ball coach got her in contact with VWU. “She was like, I heard the coach pushes you, and you can deal with that,” Bible said.

Between the distance and COVID-19 concerns, Head Softball Coach Brandon Elliot wasn’t able to fly out to see Bible play, so she made her own recruiting video. She set up a tripod, had her mom catch balls for her and used iMovie to edit. Bible sent her video to coaches and visited Virginia Beach to meet with Coach Elliot. 

“When they told me about the national championships, I was like okay, I feel like this is a DI program in a DIII school,” Bible said. 

As an upperclassmen and a leader on the team, Bible is an exceptional teammate. Junior Infielder Halee Hawkins remarked on Bible’s characteristics as a teammate. “Not only is Lauren a fantastic teammate but she is an amazing human as well,” Hawkins said. 

According to Hawkins, Bible is one of the most selfless people she has ever met. As far as playing behind Bible, Hawkins has learned who Bible is on the mound. “It has allowed me to learn what environment is best for her to succeed and for her to be her absolute best, and it has brought us closer over the years,” Hawkins said. 

Bible’s pitching coach is Bri Burger, one of the assistant softball coaches. Although Burger was not a part of the coaching staff Bible’s freshman year, Burger believes Bible has certainly developed since they met in the summer of 2022. Hawkins agrees with Burger. “Lauren has made an incredible jump from freshman year to now. She has become more confident not only in her abilities but everyone else’s ability around her,” Hawkins said. 

Burger thinks that Bible’s unique personality “allows her to think outside the box when it comes to pitching,” Burger said. 

As far as coaching Bible, Burger said, “Lauren is a joy to coach. Not only is she insanely talented, but she works harder than most and is always determined to get things right.” 

Burger grew up in Texas and played a lot of games in California. According to her, the game is different on the West Coast. “When I got to Virginia Wesleyan, I was able to relate to her in some of the terms she was saying and things she was doing that was unique to everyone else,” Burger said. 

 Burger and Hawkins don’t believe the Bible realizes how good she actually is. “She is always humble and always wants to be better,” Burger said. 

Hawkins echoed similar words. “She has always been incredibly humble and sweet, but as the years have gone on, she has become more confident,” Hawkins said. 

Playing for Virginia Wesleyan, a softball program with three national titles and numerous ODAC titles, there is inherent pressure. Bible and Hawkins emphasized that Elliot says pressure is a privilege. “There is always pressure, especially for us because we are expected to win,” Hawkins said. She said she never feels pressure playing behind Bible. 

Bible said she always wants to make an impact. “My goal was always to go and contribute to a program,” Bible said. Whether that is it in the dugout, or just being a good player, Bible wants to be a player her team can depend on. 

Bible and the Marlins return home Wednesday, April 3 against the University of Mary Washington in a doubleheader with games at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. 

By: Colette Kearney