This story appears in FCA Magazine’s July/August 2017 issue. Subscribe today!
Hometown: Oldsmar, Florida
Drafted: Seventh overall in the 2015 NPF Draft by the Chicago Bandits
• First female athlete to receive Rawlings Gold Glove Award (2016)
• All-SEC First Team (2013); Second Team (2014-16)
• NFCA All-America Third Team (2013)
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” – Hebrews 12:11
After a stellar softball career at LSU, A.J. Andrews wasn’t sure if she wanted to play professionally. But through the encouragement of her coach, she submitted her name for the 2015 NPF College Draft and was selected seventh overall. Now in her second season with the Akron Racers, Andrews’ persistent belief in the power of prayer has helped guide her through the many highs and lows of sports and life.
FCA: What were some of your favorite memories from your career at LSU?
AA: Going to the Women’s College World Series my freshman and senior year. What impacted me was how my teammates and I had one another’s back and were always ready to go hard for everything. We’d pray before games, and we were just sold that our faith was going to get us through hard times.
A lot of us went to FCA, so that was where a lot of people found their faith. It’s been a blessing to watch people grow and see how much it’s affected them and changed their lives.
FCA: How is perseverance key in both softball and faith?
AA: I’m my own worst critic. There are days I’ll call my dad, and I’m upset, and the one thing he always says to me is, “The sun always rises in the morning. It will get better. Keep praying, and keep believing in yourself.”
You get to a point where no matter how hard you’re working, things aren’t coming through. It’s a big character builder. If you can get through that discomfort and fight every single day, that’s when you have a breakthrough. There are moments when I just need to relax and give it all to God.
FCA: How did it feel to be named the first female recipient of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award?
AA: I almost thought it was a suggestion; I didn’t know it was going to be happening. When they narrowed down the finalists, I was so excited. It was going to be a historic moment regardless of who won. I was hoping it was me, but I was just excited for the growth of softball and the strides women were making in sports.
To have people who are now aspiring to be me, I have a responsibility to tell them they can genuinely do whatever they want. When I talk to girls, I tell them that until 2016 it was impossible for a woman to be a Rawlings Gold Glove winner. Impossible means absolutely nothing.
FCA: How has prayer enhanced your faith?
AA: Nine years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s now cancer-free, but during that time she would continuously tell me to pray. To have someone who loves me so much battling before my eyes but still telling me to keep believing and praying—it was so impactful.
God’s just always been that Rock. It’s all come into perspective; those moments I see Him at work, I look up and go, “That was You right there.” Life happens really fast, and sometimes you don’t even realize you’re walking through doors God has opened.
FCA: How have you seen God at work in your life?
AA: There are moments I could not have gotten through if I had not prayed or had my relationship with God. I truly believe that your blessings don’t always come when you want them to, but they always come on time. He’s continued to reveal that to me.
FCA Staff Quote:
“We love A.J. She is a tremendous young lady who is without a doubt a follower of Christ. During her career at LSU, she was involved with FCA, and we saw her live out her faith every day.”
– Andy Stroup
FCA Area Director
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Photos courtesy of A.J. Andrews and Akron Racers, National Pro Fastpitch