If Amanda Blumenherst was up late Friday night, it likely had little to do with any trouble sleeping on a lead at the Shoprite LPGA Classic.
Blumenherst, 26, still a relative newlywed, is married to Oakland A’s rookie first baseman Nate Freiman and she likes watching him play as much as she can, even in late telecasts on the Major League Baseball Network that she gets on her computer. They met at freshman orientation at Duke and married five months ago.
Blumenherst said she was up until 1:30 a.m. earlier this week watching her husband play.
“The time change is killing me because they’re out in Oakland,” Blumenherst said. “He had a day game [Thursday], which helped, but a couple nights ago I stayed up until about 1:30 because he started and was having such a great game. He had three hits, three RBIs, so I couldn’t turn it off.”
Freiman and Blumenherst managed to find time to get married in a whirlwind life as professional athletes. In the last eight months, Freiman has gone from the San Diego Padres minor league system to Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers to the Arizona Fall League’s Peoria Javelinas to a Rule 5 draft pick by the Houston Astros to spring training pick up by the A’s. He is hitting .266 in 27 games this season with 2 homers and 14 RBIs while platooning at first base.
Blumenherst shot a 5-under-par 66 Friday to take a share of the Shoprite Classic lead with Moriya Jutanugarn. They’re both seeking their first LPGA title.
Though life apart as professional athletes is challenging, Blumenherst said she and her husband have a strong support system for each other.
“He is just so excited and so happy, and he’s worked so hard throughout all the minors, and to finally have us both be at the majors of our sport, and just really enjoying it, and being able to support each other, we understand our different schedules,” Blumenherst said. “Sometimes, we can go a couple days without talking, but just being [in similar positions], there are very few people that can say that they’ve done this, and we’re married, and having such a great time.”
Blumenherst said they help each other through the hard times.
“He has been a really big supporter, probably the last year or two, when I haven’t been playing as well as I would have liked,” she said. “He knows how it feels to have your good stretches and then when you start struggling a little bit. So, to have someone to kind of talk through it and be encouraging and be a big supporter is great.”