Luisa Gauci: Australian women's baseball player lands in US to pursue dream

Luisa Gauci: Australian women's baseball player lands in US to pursue dream
20-year old Luisa Gauci left Brisbane at age 16 for her first experience. She played in the WBSC-sanctioned 2017 Phoenix Cup international women's baseball tournament in Hong Kong.

Luisa Gauci started playing baseball at 12 before moving from her hometown of Brisbane, Australia, to the United States to pursue her dream: she wanted to become a baseball player.

"It was more convenient for my mom to drop me off at the baseball field than it was to drop me off at the softball field, and so that's what she did," Gauci said in an interview with the Seattle Times.

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Despite being the only girl on her team in Australia, Gauci became obsessed with baseball. The middle infielder met Oz Sailors, a former collegiate player, at the WBSC-sanctioned Phoenix Cup international women's baseball tournament in Hong Kong when she was 16. Sailors convinced her to move to the US.

"I had this feeling I’m meant to do something big with this," Gauci said. "I just knew this was it and I kept following my gut.”

Gauci was back in Australia when she met the coach at West LA Community College. She accepted an invitation to California and received an offer to play. She was disappointed by the experience. She rarely played and felt she was being used for publicity.

After the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the season, Gauci returned to Australia. She went back to Los Angeles last July. In September, she accepted an internship at Driveline Baseball, a data-driven player development organization that was established in 2008 in Kent, Washington, and that had recently introduced women's baseball clinics.

Gauci has since been promoted into the Baseball Technology Coordinator position.

"She’s gotten exponentially better in her time training here," Tabber Stokey, Driveline's lead hitting trainer, told the Seattle Times. "She’s not going to let anything get in her way. I’m pretty confident she has a chance to get where she wants to be."

Stokey confessed: "I've never met someone who's so completely bought in on what they're doing.

Gauci, who just turned 20, accepted a scholarship to play for Green River College in Auburn, Washington, for the 2021-22 season. She will first need to complete her graduation online at West LA.

Head coach Ben Reindel believes Gauci can help the team win.

Gauci made it clear that she wanted a fair chance and that she wouldn't accept to be brought on for show.

"If I wanted it easy, I would still be in Australia right now, and I’d still be living with my parents," Gauci told the Seattle Times. "Instead, I gave up everything. That's what I want. That's what I love."

Australia is qualified for the next WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup -- the premier tournament in women's baseball -- and Gauchi could be one of the upcoming prospects to make the Aussie national team and help her country earn a medal.