Friday, March 27, 2015

Bowlby goes from nanny to star pitcher for UIS softball team

Taylor Bowlby was up to her arms in cookie dough when her phone rang in January.

The person on the other end of the line was University of Illinois Springfield first-year softball coach Shannon Nicholson. Nicholson was looking to add much-needed pitching depth.

Bowlby began her college career as a pitcher at Bradley. When Nicholson called, Bowlby was a student at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville and working as a nanny.

“I hadn’t planned on playing softball honestly ever again except for slow-pitch and maybe some summer stuff,” Bowlby said.

“I nanny for two boys and I was baking cookies with them when she called and asked me to come up on a visit. I came up for a visit. Two days later, I told her I wanted come here, and I moved here less than a week later.”

Things have moved quickly for Bowlby and UIS. She was accepted the very same day the spring semester started on Jan. 20 and has proven to be a great pickup for the 19-6 Prairie Stars.

On Monday, the sophomore right-hander was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week. She's 12-2 with a 1.79 earned run average, 64 strikeouts and 15 walks in 78 innings.

Bowlby is a key reason UIS is off to a solid start. The Stars have wins over nationally ranked Missouri-St. Louis and Wayne State and are in a three-way tie with No. 3 UMSL and No. 16 Southern Indiana for fourth place in the 16-team GLVC standings with a 6-2 record.

This article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on March 26, 2015.

Read the entire article here.