You’ll hear it as she coaches pitchers, from the college-bound to those still eligible for Little League. “On my line, here I go, flip it fast, go team go!” Sue Oran’s personality is as big as her game. But don’t let that fool you. Sue is a formidable coach with 30 years of softball experience; including All-American credentials and an unbeatable National Championship ERA record of 0.0. Sue’s love for the game of softball drives her mission: to find the right combination of academic and athletic success for every student.
And she makes it happen. So far, more than 50 of Sue’s students have gone on to earn their degree while competing at the collegiate level, some even playing pro softball. Take it from Kaitlin Inglesby, who now pitches for the University of Washington Huskies. She turned to Sue when college recruiters started looking at her. As Kaitlin told The Oregonian, she knew Sue had been through the process. “I just needed somebody that could take me to the next level, and that was Sue. She was exactly what I needed in my life. I know I can turn to her for anything in pitching because she’s already been there.”
That she has. Sue was the starting pitcher at Cal State Northridge her freshman year, and carried the team to a 5th place national finish. Her sophomore year was an athlete’s dream: not only did her team finish 2nd in the nation, but she became the first softball All-American in school history, was selected First Team All-Region, First Team All-Conference and MVP of her conference. She followed that up her junior year with a 1ST place national finish. Over the years, Sue competed in 13 national championships, winning 6, and repeatedly was selected All-American in NCAA and ASA ball. But Sue is humble about her accomplishments, preferring instead to highlight the work ethic that kept her moving the ball and hitting her spots. It’s the same work ethic and mental toughness Sue teaches. “There were lots of girls who were taller and could throw harder than me.” Her NCAA record for lowest Earned Runs Average in National Championship play, 0.0, can never be broken.
“I just needed somebody that could take me to the next level, and that was Sue. She was exactly what I needed in my life. I know I can turn to her for anything in pitching because she’s already been there.”
—Kaitlin Inglesby, Washington Huskies
After graduating college, Sue was asked to help a young pitcher, and so began the career in pitching instruction that continues to this day. By 1993 Sue had moved to the Northwest and was teaching athletes on a regular basis. Three years later, she created her business, Strictly Softball, to showcase girls from the Pacific Northwest competing at a national level.
The story of that first team is colorful: Strictly Softball entered the Turkey Shoot tournament in Mission Viejo, California, and eight wins later, became the first team in history outside of California to take the top prize. More successes followed. From 1996 to 2004, Strictly Softball teams landed a state title, a Western National title, and placed top 20 in the 18U National Championships. Dozens of these competitors, along with students of Sue’s private instruction, went on to play ball on scholarship, highlighting Sue’s mission to combine academics with athletics.
That mission picked up speed with the opening of Sue’s new facility in 2011. Strictly Sports Productions has been a dream of Sue’s and is now a reality. With her new space, Sue has expanded her services to include: video analysis, video marketing for college recruitment and the manufacturing and production of athletic training DVD’s. She also offers individual or group training in speed and agility. Whatever your level of play, college-bound or little league (Go team!), Sue’s Strictly Sports Productions has something to offer.
CHRIST ORPHANAGE — GHANA, AFRICA
Sue got the opportunity to help the children of the Christ Orphanage in Ghana, Africa. Her niece Nicole volunteers at the orphangae and after seeing photos and listening to stories Sue decided she wanted to do something that would help. She donated new backpacks and Strictly Softball uniforms in an effort to enhance the lives of the children there.
"The kids are now able to play soccer and other sports on the field without getting their school uniforms dirty and have sturdy backpacks to carry their school supplies in."