“She’s a Bad Mama Jama.” When you hear this song blast over the speakers at the Long Beach State Softball Complex, you know something good is about to happen. Jamie Wren’s walk-up song always gets the crowd going.
Sporting a bubble braid, you can find the 5-foot-6-inch senior having the time of her life in left field. She’s top five in the Big West Conference with her batting average and runs batted in, and you can expect that the quick lefty will find a way on base.
After her efforts this season, Wren will secure a place in the top 10 of multiple categories in the LBSU record book. She will be tied for eighth for her runs scored and RBIs in a season, and in fourth place for batting average in a season.
Wren hails from Whittier, California, where she began playing softball 17 years ago around the age of four. Her siblings were always involved in sports, so being active was something she has always invested time in. She tested out other sports such as soccer, swimming, volleyball, tennis and gymnastics, but found that her heart was with softball.
She found success at La Serna High School, helping the team secure four league championships as well as an appearance in a CIF Southern Section championship. Her performance in the CIF finals awarded her CIF MVP and an All-CIF First team selection, which she earned two times in her four years.
Standing out as a pitcher, Wren thought her time with softball would end the summer before entering college when she broke her wrist in a travel ball tournament. During her junior year of high school, she signed with Ohio University and was set on furthering her softball career.
“It was at the nationals for softball. I was running home and I slid and my wrist just snapped,” Wren said. “I was a pitcher, so I wasn’t able to pitch after that.”
She continued to work hard and was finally able to return to the field as an outfielder. Spending her first two years of college in Athens, Ohio, Wren played in 48 games and racked up 19 RBIs.
Although she played well throughout the two years, Wren found that the midwest wasn’t for her. She craved a bigger stage and for her parents to be able to watch her play and cheer her on.
“Out there was really different… it was a middle of nowhere town,” Wren said. “I loved the girls and the team, but it just fell into place to come back home.”
The efforts to get Wren on the LBSU squad began while she was in high school. Head coach Kim Sowder scouted her travel ball games and fought for her to be a part of the team, but Wren ultimately made the decision to go to school outside of California.
Once Wren had it in her head that she wanted to transfer away from Ohio, she sent out a letter to every school in the Big West Conference. She struck gold with LBSU, and Sowder welcomed her with open arms.
“When I got an email from her that she was going to transfer I knew immediately that I wanted her,” Sowder said. “I knew she would be an impact player here for us.”
Her connection to her family is not only shown by her moving closer to home, but it is also showcased in small aspects of the game. When making a decision on the walk-up songs that would play when she enters the box, Wren decided to choose her parents’ favorite songs.
An attendee at every game, Wren’s father makes sure to be there to cheer her on.
“It’s been a lot of fun [watching her play], she’s a real exciting player,” Jamie Wren’s father, Jon Wren said. “She can hit for power, she can drop a sneaky bunt, she’s got good speed. She really makes it difficult for teams to defend her.”
Some athletes may say that they have a “love/hate” relationship with the sport they play, but for Wren it is all love. She admitted that she reached her lowest point with the sport at Ohio, but becoming a 49er has changed her life for the better.
“She loves the game,” Sowder said. “She loves to play and loves to hit. She hits extra every day and puts in the work.”
Now that Wren’s college career has reached its end, her final year has proven to be the most productive yet. She batted .381, totaled 39 RBIs and earned six home runs as a senior.
Studying communications, Wren decided to go with a major that was universal and would give her a plethora of opportunities. Graduating in the fall, she hopes to enter a career path that has to do with sports, kids or wedding planning.
Softball won’t see the last of her, as she will return home after graduation to aid in coaching her high school team.
“I think she is going to be fine no matter what she ends up doing,” Jon Wren said. “She’s a hard worker, she’s always been a hard worker on the field and she does the same off the field as well. I’ll miss it… it was a lot of fun watching her play.”