Carey winningest softball coach at WU

Ben Fitch

Lisa Carey means business.

The all-time winningest coach in Washburn softball is currently in her eighth season, and holds a 213-165 record since she started as the program’s thirteenth coach in 2002.

“She’s intense, but she’s good,” said Lindsey Moore, sophomore shortstop. “She knows the game and she coaches with all her heart.”

Carey said her first love was basketball, but she was playing softball when she was five years old. Her older brother helped her strengthen her interest on the diamond.

Carey played for Washburn Rural and was 87-4 with her team as a sophomore, earning a state championship. After the Topeka native received a scholarship to play softball for the University of Oklahoma, she was locked into the game. She played for four years as captain—pitching, and was recruited to play shortstop until shoulder surgery determined she would play first base. During that time, Carey was named First Team All-American three times after leading the Sooners in batting, hits, home runs, RBI, total bases and slugging percentage in 74 games. She also led the Sooners to the College World Series.

Carey coached a little bit of summer ball, but her coaching position at Washburn was essentially her first. She started immediately after finishing her degree at OU. In her first season coaching, Carey posted a 34-14 record and finished in a second place MIAA ranking with the Lady Blues.

“I came back,” she said. “It’s my home-town, so I got great references for the job. Right now I’m very happy, it’s so nice to be back home.”

Carey said she didn’t plan on leaving Topeka any time soon, and anticipates coaching the Lady Blues for some time to come.

“She means business,” Moore said.

Carey said the Lady Blues have accepted her coaching style for the most part, but it’s taken some time to buy into it.

“I’m a competitor,” she said, “whether it’s checkers, horse or whatever—I like to win. I’m all about busting your tail. The season has been a little up and down, but it’s not a cupcake schedule.”

“We’ve been struggling with bunting for example,” said Moore, “so we play on the weekend and see what we need to work on during the week.”

Carey coaches off the field too—being a proponent of academics. At Oklahoma, she made the Big 12 all-academic team following her freshman, junior and senior years in addition to making the Dean’s Honor Roll as a sophomore.

“She does grade checks two to three times a semester, and when we travel we do study hall, unless we are too tired,” Moore said.

Outside of softball, Carey remains athletic.

“In the summer time I love to go biking,” she said. “I’m always recruiting, but when I can take a break, I like to be outside.”

The Lady Blues are currently 12-13 and will play Northwest Missouri State University, Friday at 3 p.m. April 16, the Lady Blues will play in the MIAA Northern Crossover.