Six Innings with Ryan Iamurri, a Junior League Softball World Series and Women’s College World Series Champion

Earlier this year, Little League® took time to reflect back with Ryan Iamurri on her own softball career, but as the historic 2024 Summer of Softball continues, here is a special #GWG50 “Six Innings” conversation with the former Little Leaguer® who made her way to the top in every level of play:

First Inning: What do you remember from your trip to Portland, Oregon, to compete in the 2003 Little League Softball® World Series?   

It’s the first time you aren’t wearing your local Little League uniforms on the field, but you now get to represent your part of the country by wearing ‘South’ across our chests… I just remember the whole experience being a real teaching moment. It reminded us to be grateful for what we had and helped us realize just how cool this game is that had now brought all these people and cultures together. It was a very neat experience. 

Ms. Iamurri up to bat in the 2003 Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon

Second Inning: Three years later, you competed in the Junior League Softball World Series. How was this experience different from the series in 2003?  

Most of the team we played with in 2006 were on the Little League Softball team for our first series in 2003, which was nice because we all had experience already in a big tournament and knew how to play together. I remember the competition being a lot better in the Junior League Softball World Series. Everyone is bigger, stronger, hitting home runs, throwing harder, and making less errors in the field. The softball was just better.

Third Inning: As a member of the Alabama Softball team, you competed in the Women’s College World Series in 2012. What was this final World Series in your career like for you and your team? 

Is it weird to say because I went to the Little League Softball World Series, it had such similar vibes? You know, you do the photo shoots and the interviews. You have to go in to the Women’s College World Series understanding that there is going to be a level of pomp and circumstance that you don’t have at regular games and I loved that stuff. Some might say it is a distraction, but that’s the experience and that’s why it is so cool to go and play there and hopefully while you are there you are inspiring the next generation… Just being there is so fun, you don’t want to blink, but instead spend every second just taking it all in because years later, you don’t remember the individual plays, but you do remember those fun moments and the experience as a whole.

Fourth Inning: You’ve since gone on to become the Coordinator of Player Development with Alabama Softball. Can you share with me how it feels to be in this role compared to being a player on the field?

My heart and my passion is the connection that we get to have with the players. When the Coordinator of Player Development position was created, and I accepted it, I got to shape it into what I wanted it to be. I first thought about who was the person that I would have needed for support when I was a player and tried to be that for them. I’m like a bridge between the coaches and the decisions they make and the players and their reactions to those decisions. I love it so far and I feel like I am exactly where I am meant to be.

Ms. Iamurri with Alabama Softball players

Fifth Inning: What advice would you give a young female athlete who is just starting their journey on the field?

My biggest piece of advice for any athlete today is to know that they are more than softball. It sounds cliché, but it is so true. If softball is your only identity, it can make playing the game really tough, and it can become something that is no longer fun… It is also important to know that there are so many ways to contribute. There can only be one person who starts the game at shortstop or third in the lineup. There are ways to be a part of the team without always being in that starting spot, so its important to ask what else you can ‘hang your hat on.’ That’s when you realize that it is about the relationships you built, how good of a teammate you were that day, how well you can take feedback, your emotional intelligence, communication, and finding your way to lead and grow to become a better human.

Sixth Inning: With your experience as a young female athlete, plus, where you are now, working in the sports industry, what do you think is the future for female sports as it continues to grow and evolve?  

The world as been sleeping on women’s sports… You see events now like the NCAA Women’s Final Four in March Madness with more than 18 million viewers, the Nebraska Women’s Volleyball team playing in front of a crowd in a football stadium, and even at the Women’s College World Series they have added an entire second story of seating that wasn’t there when I played back in 2012, which is huge for softball. So, you know, the more games and moments like those, the bigger it’s going to get.

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NOTE: To read more of the Special “Six Inning” Features as part of the Little League Girls with Game 50 Celebration, visit The #GWG50 celebration is proudly supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods, a long-time Little League partner that is committing to creating opportunities for girls and women in sports and will be activating for this celebration around key events and milestones this year.