Pictures by Krittayad Janasawad


A career decision in 2001 by Laurie Gouthro, the World Baseball Softball Congress (WBSC) event and operation officer, when she had to decide whether to become a High School teacher or follow her passion for the sports, saw her follow her passion.


And she has no regrets and thankful she made the right decision thanks to the principal of Alonso High School, whom she was supposed to have joined as full time teacher, but advised her to take up the opportunity with the International Federation of Softball (before it became WBSC in 2014).

See Kok Wooi Technical Commisioner, Laurie Gouthro Tournament Director from WBSC and Paulo Tabirara Umpire Director at the Siam Polo Club ground discussing and preparing the pitch for the tournament

And Laurie, of mixed parentage – American-Filipiono (her father American was a military officer in Philippines and her mother Filipino from Bataan) has still made it as a teacher but in the sports of baseball and softball.


Laurie born in Olongapo City, Philippines, left for the States as a baby, now as an American citizen resides in Florida.

A professional athlete in baseball and softball, Laurie attended both Florida Community College at Jacksonville and the University of South Florida on softball scholarships.

After her collegiate playing career, she was an infielder on the 1997 and 1998 Tampa Bay FireStix of the Women’s Professional Softball League (WPSL).

Datuk Low Beng Choo and Laurie

The next two seasons, 1999 and 2000, she was the team’s Assistant coach. She also coached collegiate at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in New England and at the University of West Florida, as well as at Frost Proof High School and Brandon High School in Florida.

She has also coached high school and college volleyball. Her managerial skills are rooted in five years of teaching physical fitness and health classes to high school students on part time basis.

Lawrie hard at work in Pattaya with scorers besides her

She has also played women’s professional football. And, she won a bronze medal in team handball at the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival.

Having worked for WBSC for 20 years which included coach education, development work, event organisation and preparation and correction of technical handbooks, indeed Laurie comes with an abundance of experience and knowledge.

Laurie, Softball Asia president and WBSC secretary-general Datuk Low Beng Choo and Umpire Director Paulo Tabirara at the Slow Pitch Softball Asia Cup in Pattaya

Besides,  Softball World Championships, Multi-Sport events including the Olympic Games (softball competition), she has been involved with the Special Olympics since 2005, starting as a member of the Sports resource team for softball and continued herinvolvement volunteering at numerous SO Softball NIT, National Games, and World Games.

I had the opportunity to participate in my first World Games working for the LOC of the Softball Competitions in Athens in 2011, then as a Technical Commissioner at Los Angeles in LA in 2015,” said Laurie.

At the ISF, where she was hired in the summer of 2001, Laurie handled all competitions, ranging from technical liaison to tournament director. Her responsibilities also included the Federation’s anti-doping efforts.

She successfully implemented the first-ever Junior Girls’ World Cup (Under-16) in November 2001 and the ISF’s inaugural Slow Pitch World Cup in June 2002 andanother in 2005, and then annual competitions from 2014 through 2018.  

These tournaments were open to both national and club teams and were not a true World Cup in the current WBSC meaning of the term.

Laurie third from right at the team managers meeting

But with national teams taking the field now, co-ed slow pitch softball has certainly come of age on a world stage and WBSC will be holding the inaugural World Cup for Slow Pitch Softball World Cup in Mexico at the end of the year.

And it is no surprise that Datuk Low Beng Choo, the Softball Asia (SA) president and WBSC secretary-general, requested Laurie to be the tournament director for the inaugural Slow Pitch Softball Asia Cup 2023 in Pattaya which ends tomorrow.

“Slow pitch softball is slowly catching up and we wanted someone experienced and with knowledge of the game to handle our Asia Cup, which is the qualifier for the World Cup and Laurie was the best person,” said Low.

“We are indeed grateful that she accepted to come and assist us and the tournament has been run smoothly.”

Laurie herself, not an alien to Asia was delighted to assist.

“It was an honour to be invited to manage the tournament. Low has been a mentor to me and have learnt a great deal from her and this is only a small to repay my gratitude to her,” said Laurie. 

Sport has always been an integral part of my life. Working to continue the growth and development of baseball and softball, is a natural extension of this love.


Laurie said that she has a great team in WBSC led by president, Riccardo Fraccari, and working together harmoniously towards betterment and promoting softball and baseball, has brought the sports to the next level.


“There is still a lot more we can do and we will continue to work at it diligently.”


For the record, softball, has already made it’s debut at the Japan Olympics last year and slated for the World Games and Youth Olympics.


Indeed, Laurie’s passion for the sport has brought great joy to her, as the sports continue to grow.


Along with sport, another passion of Laurie, is animals.


She has several animals (10 total mixture of dogs, cats and a bird, and also part owner of a business that cares for animals as well as offers classes in pet first aid and CPR.


Indeed, a colourful Laurie, who is all heart and love for educating and imparting her vast knowledge.