Oakland University softball coach gives birth hours after team wins conference title

Lauren and Sophie Karns
Posted at 4:40 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 18:21:38-04

Oakland hasn’t made the NCAA softball tournament since 2015, but Oakland won the Horizon League Championship Saturday morning. Karn wasn’t there, she was 39 weeks pregnant. But, she met her team when they arrived back on campus around 7:30 that evening to celebrate their bid to the national tournament.

“I saw them, I celebrated with them, I hugged them,” said Karn with a smile.

Aside from excitement, the head coach started feeling something else.

“When I was standing there talking to them, I was feeling some cramping, but nothing like oh labor is going to start,” she recalled.

Well, she was wrong. Really, really, wrong.

“There was a pattern with the cramps that were happening,” said Karn. “So I started timing them. Very quickly they were four minutes apart.”

Less than four hours ago, she was in celebration. And now, she’s in labor.

“By the time I got to the hospital we were very far along,” said Karn.

When she says “we” it wasn’t her and her husband. Her neighbor took her to the hospital. Justin Karn is the head coach for Madonna University baseball. They were also in tournament time.

“He left that morning around 9 am,” Karn said. “And asked do you think it’s okay that I go yeah I don’t I don’t feel anything happening.”

Labor happened so quickly, her husband missed the birth. She delivered in five pushes alongside her neighbor.

“Sophie Lynn Karn, born May 15th at 12:32 am, 8 pounds, 1 oz, 20 inches long,” the new mother recalled as she looked her daughter.

Not to mention, she entered the world on Selection Sunday and she has a whole team eagerly waiting to meet her. With not much surprise, Lauren with her newborn in tow, will be coaching her team Friday in Illinois five days after giving birth.

“My husband was like if you guys go to Northwestern, we’re going. We’ll figure it out,” Karn said.

Lauren, her husband Justin, and her two children Mickey and Sophie, will be make the 5-hour road trip to Northwestern and she’ll be in the dugout to coach her team in time for their first tournament game. Safe to say that Sophie and her mom Lauren are champions… literally and figuratively speaking.