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2012 LSU Softball Preview


The LSU softball team begins their season on Friday night at Tiger Park. The Tigers are trying to improve upon last years 40-18 season than ended at the Texas A&M regional.

Gone from last years team is leading slugger Anissa Young (.272 batting, 10 homers and 42 RBI) and coach Yvette Giroud. Giroud was replaced last June after a nice stint in Baton Rouge with Beth Torina. Torina came over from Florida International and led them to their first NCAA regional last year. During her four years at FIU, she had an overall record of 129-111.
The loss of Young leaves a huge void to fill in the Tiger’s line up. The team only finished eighth last year in the conference in batting and by the looks of the returning players, that trend should continue. Leading the LSU offense in 2012 will be Simone Hayward, Ashley Langoni, and Tammy Wray. Hayward led the team in hitting last year with a .294 batting average, runs scored (39) and stolen bases (23). Langoni was second on the team in home runs (8) and RBIs (38). Wray also added eight home runs and a solid 33 RBIs. These three are a decent base to build a line up around, but who around them will step up? One area the Tigers do not need improvement in is the pitching department.
LSU returns all three under-handed hurlers from last years team that finished ranked fifth in the SEC in overall pitching (2.29 ERA), and second in strike outs (483). Leading LSU is standout Brittany Mack. Mack finished last year with a 20-7 record, 1.79 ERA. In 184.1 innings pitched Mack had 204 strike outs to only 64 walks. Assisting Mack when needed is Rachael Fico. Fico finished last year with a 14-10 record, 2.40 ERA and 193 strike outs in 160.2 innings pitched. Meghan Patterson should see more playing time this year with LSU. Last year, in only 53.2 innings pitched, she struck out 92 batters. Patterson will need to improve on her 3.26 ERA.
LSU enters the season ranked 20nd in the preseason top-25 and was selected to finish fourth in the SEC (second in the SEC west). This is about the same position LSU finished last year, so it will be interesting to see if the Tigers can improve on that. Their schedule won’t do them any favors thought. The Tigers are schedule to play five of the eight teams from last years College World Series, but because of the tough schedule, LSU is slated to appear on TV 18 times.
One thing you have to like about this team is its attitude heading into the season. When asked about the team’s goals heading into the season, coach Torina responded “our number one goal is to reach the College World Series, without question.” You have to like a coach willing to set the bar high for the team. A bold statement from a coach who didn’t have a single player selected to the preseason All-SEC team. (the media hates LSU)

LSU’s first game is against Penn State at 6:00pm.