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Audrey Lowry, Oklahoma softball share ‘championship mindset’
Audrey Lowry went 22-3 with a 0.42 ERA and 302 strikeouts at Tri-West last season. (Courtesy: @audreylowry42/Twitter)

Audrey Lowry, Oklahoma softball share ‘championship mindset’

LIZTON, Ind. (BVM) – Since Audrey Lowry began playing softball around 10 years ago, she has always found success. A lot of that comes thanks to her calm demeanor in big moments.

“A lot of people have told me in the past that I have really good composure on the mound and that I don’t let my emotions overtake me and my pitching,” Lowry said.

Of course, her composure has been combined with elite arm talent that has been seen time and again when Lowry is in the circle. She began her softball career with the Indiana Gators, but shortly after, joined Tennessee Mojo who she won a national championship with at the 10U level in 2016. 

After a multi-year stint with the Beverly Bandits where Lowry helped her team to a runner-up finish in the Premier Girls Fastpitch national championship last summer, she is back with Tennessee Mojo seeking a new experience and challenge.

“I’ve known those girls for a long time,” Lowry said. “I’ve played with them before, I know the coaches and all that. I just love it, it’s great.”

The challenge of performing at an elite level on the softball field is something the Tri-West High School junior has relished for some time. Growing up, Lowry remembers watching her dad play in a slow-pitch softball league. It made her want to try it out, and despite attempts at other sports, softball always stood above the rest.

“I just was drawn to the sport of softball,” Lowry said. “I tried other sports like soccer, basketball and volleyball, but I never really felt connected to those sports as much as I did to softball.”

As Lowry got more and more into the sport, she began watching other girls play who quickly became role models, many of whom were part of the Oklahoma softball program. The player she idolized most was Paige Parker, a dominant left-handed pitcher for the Sooners similar to Lowry herself.

“I always watched her when I was younger,” Lowry mentioned. “That just brought a lot of confidence in me playing softball.”

Audrey Lowry Tri-West High School Bruins softball Indiana Oklahoma Sooners
Audrey Lowry helped lead Tri-West to a state championship game appearance in 2022. (Credit: Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Several years later, Lowry is following in the footsteps of her idol. Being previously ranked as high as the No. 2-ranked player nationally in the Class of 2024 by Extra Inning Softball, Lowry had her choice of where she wanted to play at the next level. In fact, when her recruiting first opened, the amount of attention she received was almost too much to handle. 

“I didn’t know what to do because I kept getting calls and I didn’t know how to answer all those calls,” Lowry said. “It was just very overwhelming.”

However, Lowry’s first scheduled college visit would come shortly after at Oklahoma. Going to camps there in the past, the pitching standout had already built a relationship with the coaching staff, including longtime head coach Patty Gasso. 

For some time, Lowry believed the best choice for her was joining the Sooners. The initial visit to Norman only confirmed that.

“My dream has always been to go to Oklahoma,” Lowry said. “I love Coach Gasso, I love the environment, the championship mindset, I just love it so much. When I got there, I honestly knew that that was where I wanted to go.”

During the visit, Lowry got to meet some of her future teammates, and worked out with star Oklahoma pitcher Jordy Bahl, someone the Tri-West standout has played with in the past. 

The following day, Lowry and her family had a long discussion at breakfast with Coach Gasso. Ultimately, she decided to commit to the championship program right then and there.

“We all cried, it was a very emotional moment,” Lowry said. “Even Coach Gasso had some tears in her eyes. But it was just a great moment because I’ve known Coach Gasso for a very long time. It’s awesome.”

Of course, any college softball fan knows Oklahoma has been the cream of the crop in recent years. The Sooners are reigning back-to-back national champions, and have won five national titles overall in the past decade. So far, they have started the 2023 season with 30 wins in their first 31 games. 

A champion herself, being able to join a program that has an elite mindset, as well as plenty of talented players, has Lowry excited for the future.

“I’m so excited,” Lowry said. “I’m so excited that I get to play with Jordy her senior year. I’m just excited to get there and experience the Oklahoma program personally. It’s definitely motivated me to work even harder than I was before.”

While Lowry is poised for big things with the Sooners, her current focus is finishing her Tri-West career with two more strong seasons. As a freshman, Lowry made a seamless transition to high school softball thanks to her familiarity with the program.

“I was comfortable,” Lowry said. “All the girls were amazing and we had a great season.”

Audrey Lowry Tri-West High School Bruins softball Oklahoma Sooners
Audrey Lowry began her junior season in dominant fashion with two home runs at the plate and nine strikeouts in the circle during the Bruins’ opening-game victory. (Credit: Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK)

That year, the lefty went an impressive 17-3 with a 0.83 ERA and a program single-season record 236 strikeouts. She was also strong as a hitter with a .442 batting average as well as two home runs and 27 RBIs.

However, it was Lowry’s sophomore year that is one of the most memorable of her career. In the circle, the left-handed pitcher only got better, going 22-3 with a 0.42 ERA and 302 strikeouts. She also hit .434 with a home run and 21 RBIs.

Her performance throughout the year led the Bruins to a tremendous campaign overall. Before the season, Lowry and her team weren’t sure if they had what it took to get to state. However, that’s exactly where they ended up in June.

“It was an amazing season,” Lowry said. “Going into the start of my sophomore season, we didn’t even realize that we would have the potential to get to the state championship.

“All throughout the year, we were just playing hard, we were trusting each other. Once we got to semistate, I think it really kicked in for all of us that we could get to the state championship and compete for the state championship.”

With a team that sometimes found itself anxious at the start of big games, yet always confident, Lowry helped lead the Bruins to wins at semistate, and a run all the way to the state championship game. There, Lowry got the start for Tri-West in some adverse conditions due to some heavy rain. Facing off against St. Joseph freshman Berkley Zache, the contest became one of the great pitcher’s duels seen in a state title game in the Hoosier State. 

During the state championship, Lowry racked up an IHSAA Class 3A record 22 strikeouts, and didn’t allow a hit in the game until the ninth inning. This was despite walking three batters to load the bases in the first as the rain poured down.

Unfortunately, Zache herself would drive in the winning run in the ninth inning to earn the 1-0 victory for St. Joseph. 

While the Bruins ultimately came up short, the game was by no means a failure in Lowry’s eyes. Rather, it’s a learning experience that both she and her teammates can draw positives from.

“It’s not a bad moment that we lost,” Lowry said. “It’s also a good thing because you can reflect from all that stuff. It just helps us become better players.”

Perhaps the toughest part of the loss was seeing the seniors on the team go out on a losing note. As a result, the Bruins continue to be motivated to get back to state this season, and feel more comfortable from the experience they now have.

“It’s definitely motivated us,” Lowry said. “We didn’t know what to expect [last year], but we’ve played in those games before where we’ve had tons of people there.

“I think we have amazing potential. I think we have an amazing team.”

While the team goals remain a state title, Lowry is also seeing plenty of individual progress as well. Throughout the offseason, the 5-foot-8 pitcher has been in the weight room, looking to add more muscle to her frame. She hopes to continue building on that throughout the season.

“What I’m focusing on now through this high school season is maintaining that muscle,” Lowry said. “I think that’s really going to help me personally.”

The high school softball season is just getting underway in Indiana, but already, Lowry and the Bruins have seen positive results. In a season-opening victory over Fishers, Lowry pitched seven innings, allowing zero earned runs while striking out nine batters. She also belted two home runs in the opener.

Audrey Lowry Oklahoma Sooners softball Tri-West High School Bruins Indiana
Audrey Lowry is hoping to lead the Sooners to another national championship during her time in Norman. (Courtesy: @audreylowry42/Twitter)

Lowry comes into the spring with plenty of expectations as well. As a top-10 player in the Class of 2024, many would probably feel pressure to perform. But for Lowry, the ranking is more motivating than anything, and a testament to the hard work she has put in to get to this point.

“I definitely feel honored that I’ve been recognized,” Lowry said. “It does motivate me, even though I don’t show it on social media. It definitely makes me feel good about what I’ve accomplished.”

There is no doubt the Tri-West junior is in the spotlight, not only in Indiana, but also nationally. With every pitch she throws, Lowry knows she has girls looking up to her, just as she looked up to players like Parker when she was younger.

Already, Lowry has aimed to give back to the next generation of softball stars by working at kids camps through the Bruins program. Over the next two years, and eventually at Oklahoma, she hopes to continue to leave a legacy every time she is in the circle.

“I want to leave my legacy to the girls that are coming into the program in the future,” Lowry said. “I just want them to know that it does take hard work, but it’s a good obstacle to go through, especially to help you in life. I hope they can reflect from that.”

Of course, Lowry’s legacy on the field will be defined by the success she has over the next several years. At Oklahoma, she hopes to continue to get stronger, maintain her weight, and work further on her pitches. However, like almost every player that comes through the elite program, Lowry has one main goal before her time in Norman is done.

“Hopefully win a national championship,” Lowry said.

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