Tonawanda News — The late ‘80s and early ‘90s were the glory days of North Tonawanda softball. The Lady Lumberjacks were the toast of the town — people came out in droves to watch the girls churn out winning season after winning season.
The players became recognizable around the Lumber City, and their accomplishments were celebrated — none more than the 1988 state championship. The Lady Jacks had many great players, but nobody’s star shined as bright as Kim Frizzell’s.
“We were the thing. You become like famous,” Frizzell said. “It’s still that way because my parents run into people and they know my parents because of who I was. Even my siblings sort of lost their identity and became Kim Frizzell’s sister. They tolerated it and knew it came with the territory. I still even feel that when I go back.”
Frizzell (now Kim Lauber), already a member of the North Tonawanda High School, Western New York and Buffalo State College Halls of Fame, is being inducted into the New York State High School Hall of Fame on Saturday. The NYS Hall of Fame, based in Herkimer, inducted its inaugural class last year.
After one of the most prolific careers in NT history, Frizzell received a full scholarship to play at Bridgeport University. She dominated in the circle for the Lady Jacks for five seasons, compiling a 54-5 record with a 0.13 ERA. She had 600 career strike outs and led NT to five straight Niagara Frontier League championships, five straight Section VI Class A titles and the state title in 1988.
Former NT coach Tom “T.K.” Murphy is being inducted alongside his former ace, and said she did everything for the Lady Jacks.
“She’s amazing. Absolutely, positively amazing,” he said.
Frizzell played two years at Bridgeport before transferring to Buffalo State. She said the workload was too demeaning and she was burnt out from the 7 a.m. pitching sessions. She was starting to dislike the game.