Hamby moving on up to the pros

By Gus Bode

Former Saluki softball player Ashley Hamby has pitched herself into a position on a pro team.

Hamby, a right-handed pitcher of the 2007 softball team, recently finished her senior season at SIU. Now, Hamby is spending her summer playing at the pro level for the Michigan Ice. The Michigan Ice is the newest team to be added to the National Pro Fastpitch.

Hamby hasn’t been sticking to the usual pitching and infield positions from her former college days.


“I’ve been starting a couple games in the outfield and I’ve been seeing some time at third base too,” said Hamby.

While she has been trying out new positions in the field, the Ice have not been ignoring her exceptional pitching skills.

“Towards the end of the game I will come in and close out the game pitching,” Hamby said.

During her run as pitcher for SIU, Hamby has garnered some impressive stats. During her last season she posted a 17-6 record and had a 1.77 ERA for the 2007 season.

Michigan Ice’s General Manager Jason Newsham said he is excited to have Hamby playing for the team and refers to her as a “stud.”

When the Ice first added Hamby to the team, Newsham thought the team was acquiring just a pitcher. He soon realized that he was not only getting an exceptional pitcher, but an athlete who can play multiple positions.

“She has not disappointed one bit,” Newsham said, “She has performed above satisfactory.”


Practice with the Ice has been vastly different from the SIU team according to Hamby.

Hamby said instead of coaches constantly instructing the player how to improve, as is customary at SIU, the softball players are mainly the coaches for the Ice. Because every player competes at the professional level, the team finds it more advantageous to critique each other.

Newsham said even though the Michigan Ice is considered pro and competes in the NPF league, they are not an official team yet. They are considered an independent team and are in the process of completing the requirements to become an official team, he said.

Newsham said the team has to make sure they can get money from all of their investors and pay league dues. The team also has to show they can generate $300,000 in revenue in order to become an official team.

Newsham said he expects they will become the 7th official team in the NPF by the beginning of the next season.

When Hamby is not practicing or playing softball she spends her time trying to finish her degree. She is currently volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club in Bay City trying to finish her required observation hours to get her elementary education degree.

After losing a star player the SIU softball team now has the difficult job of replacing one of its best pitchers.

“She lead our team to many wins,” said outfielder Clare Ford, “It will be a tough spot to fill.”

Daily Egyptian writer Seth MacFadyen can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 282.