Meet the ace of Highland softball’s staff – Rockford native Amber Lamb, Harlem High Class of 2003.
"I played in 2004 at Highland Community College."
Then she stepped away from the game for 14 years.
"I still had one more year after 2004," says Lamb. "I hadn’t played but maybe some slow pitch softball here or there."
Until a Highland alumni game, where she returned to the circle.
"Pitched two innings, struck out five of the six girls. Coach was impressed and asked me to come and play."
Amber is continuing and concluding her two years of college softball.
When she’s not in the circle, she works full time for the City of Loves Park. When she’s not at her on or off field office, you’ll find her at home with her family.
Daughter Laci (12), Dylan (soon to be 6), husband Kyle, and dog Token. She can twirl a fastball, and juggle schedules.
"Work eight to five, Monday through Friday. After school, my daughter just made seventh grade cheer" says Lamb. "My son’s in Boy Scouts. We have that schedule. Give credit to Kyle, definitely, for him having to juggle most of the schedules."
Kyle wears many hats too – husband, father, and highland softball fan in the stands.
"She goes into her own little softball world. Executes well. It’s really impressive to watch her," says Kyle.
Amber adds, "This is what I enjoy is being home. We’re all pretty much homebodies."
Except when it’s time to play ball, hitters are helpless against Amber Lamb, and sometimes asking a question or two.
"One of the girls asked me for my birth certificate."
Lamb has an appropriate nickname from her Lady Cougar teammates – "Ma" and/or "Mom."
"They think that I’m the coolest mom. I can do the mom thing and then come out here and do what I do with them."
This is Amber Lamb’s dream delayed, not deferred, heading towards its final chapter.
"I do it because I love it," Lamb says. "I don’t do it for the recognition of anything. I do it because I love the sport. Having the opportunity 14 years later was something that I couldn’t say no to, I guess."
Amber Lamb, mother to her kids, and to her teammates, teaching them all this lesson – finish what you started, even if it takes a little longer than expected.