USF women’s basketball isn’t the only team on campus with some international flavor on the roster. The softball team boasts two players—Lauren Evans and Georgina Corrick—who play for the Great Britain National Team. Corrick has burst onto the college softball scene while still maintaining her British heritage in a very American sport.
“It’s actually really important for me [to represent Great Britain] because I think it’s so easy to kinda forget your heritage and where you come from,” Corrick said.
Corrick was just three months old when her parents moved to the United States from England. Although she doesnt’t remember living in England, there are difficulties with being so young when you move to a different country. You’re constantly playing catch up in conversations and find yourself just nodding along when your parents reminisce about “back home”. You can feel left out and cheated of those memories that the rest of the family shares together.
“My dad is so bad [at that]. He loves English TV shows. He hates American TV for some reason,” Corrick said. “Every single TV show he’ll say ‘Oh doesn’t this look like your aunts house in wherever, wherever?’ And I’m like ‘I don’t even know my aunt.’ All my family is overseas but I try to see them when I can but I really don’t remember much about it.”
The Corricks settled in Georgia before moving to Sanford, Florida where the future ace became a star inside the pitching circle at Seminole High School and on travel teams. Nothing helped her prepare for the college atmosphere like representing GB on the national stage.
“I ended up being one of the youngest girls on the women’s English team, so I was playing with girls that were playing in college,” Corrick said. “It was a difficult transition for me to go from my high school friends of like 16 or 17 to and playing against 25, 26 year old women. It definitely matured me quite early...There’s no comparison between high school and travel ball and college. It was so good for me to go over there and get that experience.”
Corrick said she didn’t start playing softball until she was 11 or 12 years old and softball was a “last resort” for her parents.
“I sucked at a lot of other sports” Corrick said. “I was a goalie in soccer and I was really bad at that. I swam and I didn’t swim very well. I kinda sunk, I was a little bigger. They said we’ll have you do softball and [my dad] realized that I would chuck things across the house really, really hard so he said ‘why don’t we try that?’”
The 6’0” freshman landed on softball head coach Ken Eriksen’s radar when she was in eighth grade. USF was her first collegiate offer and Corrick kept that in mind when other schools came calling for her in the recruiting process. She didn’t think playing at the next level was even possible for her until USF expressed interest.
“It’s obviously every girls little dream to go to college and ... someone wants me to play for them,” Corrick said. “Like, someone actually want to pay me money to be somewhere and get my college education which is huge for me at the time. That’s when I realized this could be something bigger for me.”
She spurned the “hometown” team C. in favor of the Bulls and immediately made an impact on a team that was devoid of a lights out pitcher in the vein of Erica Nunn and Sara Nevins before her.
The freshman delivered. Through Sunday she’s amassed 152 strikeouts in 154 1⁄3 innings for USF accompanied with a 1.59 ERA. She did miss time in early March with a shoulder injury that kept her sidelined for nearly two weeks.
In her first season with the Bulls, she’s: beat then-no. 18 Michigan, thrown a no-hitter against North Florida, and was just named AAC Co-Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year, as well as being named to the all-rookie team and first-team all-AAC. Corrick was the first freshman since 1996 to throw a no-hitter for the Bulls.
Corrick attributes her ability to keep her emotions in check as her best asset on the field and that ability was showcased on February 10 versus Michigan. The Bulls jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over the Wolverines after three innings when the Brit ran into a spot of bother in the fourth inning.
“My coach said that he trusted me enough and wants me to pitch against them,” Corrick said. “And that was really big for me because I’ve grown up watching Michigan on TV. I gave up back-to-back solo home runs and I’m sitting on the mound and I’m like ‘I can cry right now’ but coach trusted me and gave me the ball and said that he really thinks I’ve got this game.... I thrive on the positive energy and not let the negative stuff get to me, that’s really big for me.”
Corrick got the ball again last weekend in the season finale versus Wichita State. The Bulls needed to win Sunday to claim the AAC regular season title outright after splitting the first two games of the series and she came through again with a gem. She tossed a complete game, and scattered just four hits as the Bulls won 3-1 that featured a four hour rain delay. Corrick came out after the delay even stronger and allowed two just hits in her last four innings of work.
The Bulls will set their sights on an elusive goal this weekend: Win their first AAC tournament championship. USF will face 8-seed UConn at 6:30 p.m. at the USF Softball Complex and like Great Britain, Corrick knows they can’t take the Huskies lightly, especially in a single-elimination tournament.
“The key for us to is never underestimate anybody,” Corrick said. “Yes, we know UConn finished last in our conference but we played in a tough conference. Every single one of these teams come out here to play. We need to attack first.”
As for Corrick on the international stage, she will try to help Great Britain—currently ranked 14th in the world—win the Women’s Softball World Championship this summer in Chiba, Japan. If GB wins the championship, they automatically qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo where softball will make its return after an eight year hiatus. Although, the more likely route is finishing in the top-6 of the Europe/Africa Qualifying Tournament next year.
“It’s so easy to be caught up in everything, but it’s really humbling and obviously so exciting for me to be able to do something my parents couldn’t. They had to come over here for their jobs, but representing Great Britain [in the Olympics] really gives me a chance to remember who I am and where I come from.”