Lauren Dortwegt Wilson was an all-conference center fielder for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team. She earned her share of honors on the field and in the classroom during her time at Lipscomb. She also met her husband, Tyler, who was a member of the Lipscomb baseball team. She works at the Covenant School in Nashville. She and Tyler stay close to Lipscomb living not far from Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium. She spent some time this week talking with lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play softball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 2006-2010. Kristin (Peck) Ryman was the head coach. Lexi Myers and Amber Wood were assistant coaches."
As a softball player from Illinois what attracted you to Lipscomb?
"Coach Peck recruited me at an exposure tournament in Colorado. I got to speak with her there and she told me about Lipscomb. We eventually set up a visit.
"I had never heard of Lipscomb before Coach Peck recruited me. It wasn't an ideal distance from my home in Downers Grove, but I felt more comfortable at Lipscomb than any of the other universities I visited.
"I did some research on Lipscomb. I really wanted to play softball in college and I had heard some really good things about their education program."
What impressed you about Lipscomb when you made your official visit?
"First, it was the size of the school that made me feel comfortable. I could walk across campus easily and see people who were familiar. I felt more comfortable at Lipscomb than any other university I visited.
"The spiritual environment also drew me in. I really looked forward to enjoying my college life as a Division I athlete. Lipscomb has a really great education program so it all really fit.
"I was deciding between a small school in Illinois and Lipscomb. I remember the night before I had to make my decision that I waited as long as I could. It was a really hard decision.
"I just felt like if I didn't take the chance of going to Lipscomb that I would have regretted it. It is the best decision that I could have made. I wouldn't change it for anything."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"There are so many to choose from. I guess the main thing was I loved developing friendships with girls from so many different backgrounds. We had really different personalities but we learned to work well together on and off of the field. We never gave up on each other.
"The opportunity the coaches gave us to play in Hawaii was great.
"But the main one would be winning our conference tournament in 2010 and going to our first NCAA Regional in Tuscaloosa. It is something I will never forget. It was a bittersweet way to end my softball career. We had a special team that year."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"My parents (Karen and Robert). They weren't on campus with me, but they encouraged and inspired me to persevere for four years of playing softball. They came to as many games as they could. They listened to all of my long phone calls if I was having a challenging day, a challenging practice or if I was just missing home. They were always there to listen and they always kept me going."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"The things I mainly enjoyed were the fun and simple things that we did. Shannon Mizell, one of my suite mates, was in education classes with me. We had a lot of fun working on projects together. We would always have a good laugh about something.
"Megan Rottler, Kellie and Kristie Sirus and Tyler Wilson were all really good friends. That made studying in the pharmacy building really fun. Anything with them was a good time.
"I was able to experience college in a different way. People think being a Division I athlete can take away from your college experience. But I got to experience something a lot of people don’t get the chance to do. I tried to take advantage of it and made it as positive as I could."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"Lipscomb really shaped me into being who I am today. I should say that I am confident because that is what God made me to be, but I think the main lesson I learned was to be confident in myself because I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
"I developed spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally at Lipscomb. I think every friend, professor and coach that I had helped develop who I am today.
"I can be very thankful God helped me through all of my school years. Being confident in myself is the main lesson that I learned."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I have more than one. I never had a professor that I didn't care for. I can pick one from every department I took classes with.
"I was an elementary education major. Dr. Candace McQueen is an amazing leader and educator. Dr. Keith Nikolaus, Dr. Monty Beck, who is not there anymore, and Dr. Junior High in the education department were all very supportive advisors and teachers.
"Dr. Matt Hearn and Dr. Lin Garner were great English professors. I also enjoyed Dr. Guy Vanderpool who taught a great history class. I also liked Dr. Jimmy McCollum. He was always someone I could turn to for help.
"All of the teachers do a very good job of connecting with you, making you feel at home at Lipscomb and really taking an interest in your life."
Where do you live now?
"We live in Nashville. We live down the road from the baseball field. We looked at a bunch of different areas but nothing felt the same as being around school."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I major in elementary education. I just started a new position at the Covenant School. I am in charge of their three-day junior kindergarten for 4-year-olds turning 5. They are pretty fun. The things they say are pretty memorable.
"I am in charge of the students who come in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. But I help with the five-day program on Mondays and Fridays.
"It has been wonderful. The Covenant School is a great community with a Christian environment. It has been really nice to work there."
Tell us about your family.
"Tyler and I met through the athletic program. He was on the baseball team. I think we first met in line in the training room waiting for physicals.
"The baseball team cut in front of the softball team. Tyler was one of the group that cut in front of us. We were friends our junior year. That was Tyler's first year at Lipscomb. We started dating our senior year. We got married in 2012."
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