When Stacey Porter isn’t on her couch watching Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce on Netflix, you’ll probably find her on a softball field.
She first picked up a softball bat when she was 5. Now 36, she's got an opportunity to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Growing up in New South Wales, Australia, Porter worked her way up through the game. When it came time to go to college, she chose Hawaii and played third base.
Today, she's playing for the Aussie Spirit softball team, an affiliate with U.S.-based National Pro Fastpitch that was to play a pair of games against the USSSA Pride at T-Bones Stadium on Monday and Tuesday.
The 2020 Olympics wouldn’t be Porter’s first. She helped her homeland win a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Or second — she brought home bronze from the 2008 Games in Beijing.
But 2020 will be the first time that softball returns to the Olympics since being eliminated after 2008. And Porter is ready for the challenge.
“It will be tough to qualify. Obviously, we would like to,” Porter said of her Australian national team. “There’s only six spots to qualify, so it’ll be tough.”
Throughout her years of playing softball, including now as a pro, the Olympics is what she looks forward to the most.
“There’s nothing like playing at the Olympic Games," Porter said. "I haven’t experienced anything else quite like it. I think it’s one of the best experiences. I think it will be great if the girls get to experience it once we qualify.”
Aussie Spirit’s head coach, Fabian Barlow, is thrilled to have Porter on his team. He said her personality sets her apart.
“She’s one of the best players in the world,” Barlow said. “But when you talk to her, you would think she’s the most ordinary. She’s humble and delivers on a nightly basis. She deserves a lot of respect.”
The importance of training for the Olympics and putting in work for the Aussie Spirit is not lost on Porter.
“It’s a chance for me to impact the younger generation,” Porter said. “It’s a shot for me to pave a path for younger kids to come up and do the same thing we are doing now.”