Sometimes in life you get lucky and an opportunity presents itself out of the blue. Other times, you create your own opportunities through hard work, perseverance and skill. Lisa Norries’s trip to the Oakland Athletics is proof.
This story is the latter:
Australian softball/baseball player and coach, Lisa Norrie has earned an invite from MLB’s Oakland Athletics to participate in their Instructional League.
3 years ago she was invited to Instructional League as a guest coach by Ed Sprague, the Director of Player Development with the A’s, whom she had met at the MLB winter meetings (her second of two visits). As her contract was being prepared, covid hit and that dream was over…or so she thought.
Last month she received an email from Mr. Sprague, asking if she was still interested. The answer was a resounding, “yes,” and within a week, Oakland employees had set her up with flights, visas and uniforms. She will be there for 4 weeks working with athletes who are on the cusp of being signed for the majors and spending time with some of the best coaches in the sport.
Norrie has definitively made her mark in Australian Baseball. She played softball for New South Wales, then played for and coached the Queensland women’s baseball team. She was assistant coach for the Australian women’s national team in the 2016 Women’s Baseball World Cup, where they finished 5th against some very tough competition, besting Cuba, South Korea and the United States. Lisa was then hired by the Brisbane Bandits as assistant coach for the 2017-2018 ABL season, becoming the first woman to coach in Australia’s top league. She also coached for Australia in the 2018 Women’s Baseball World Cup.
In her own words, “I’m really excited and honoured to be given this opportunity. To be the first female from Australia to be invited to Instructional League is a huge achievement and I hope I can open the door for other females from here to get the same opportunity.”
“I will be on field most days with training sessions in the morning and games in the afternoon. We will have coaches meetings daily which will be great to see how things run in the minors, and I’ll be able to pick the brains of some really experienced coaches”
“I can’t wait to get there and get to work.”
The Bandits wish Lisa all the best, and are incredibly honoured to be a part of her Baseball journey.
Stay tuned for further updates on Lisa’s phenomenal adventure!