On this edition of In The Circle, LSU’s Head Coach Beth Torina discusses the Tigers upcoming 2017 season. Among the topics Torina discussed included
- Winning with a Pitching Staff instead of one pitcher
- Having former players she coached go into coaching.
- Torina thoughts on NCAA Changing Super Regionals schedule to now 1 game each day instead of possible 2 games on day 2?
- How Softball players changed from when she played to now
- Winning CUSA Championship Tournament in her hometown of Orlando in 2007 as an asst coach at Houston.
- What would Torina change if anything in Softball if in charge?
- On being a role model for future female coaches.
- Enjoy Coaching more then playing Softball?
Torina enters her sixth season as Head Coach of the LSU softball program. Torina has a returned the Tigers to national prominence with two 50-win seasons, two 40-win seasons and three trips to the Women’s College World Series in 2012, 2015 and 2016 in her first five seasons.
Since taking the reins of the program prior to the 2012 season, Torina has now led the Tigers to the pinnacle of the sport more than any other LSU head coach, while becoming the first to lead the team to Oklahoma City in consecutive seasons in program history. She is averaging 45 wins per season in Baton Rouge.
Torina’s Tigers are coming off a 2016 season that saw the Tigers end the season as the third ranked team in the nation, finishing the year with a 52-18 overall record, winning 50 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time for the Tigers since 2006 and 2007. LSU made it to Oklahoma City in dramatic fashion going on the road to James Madison and became the 15th team in the super regional era, and fifth team on the road, to drop the first game and go on to win the next two games of the Super Regional to advance to Oklahoma City.
LSU schedule once again among toughest in the nation facing 16 NCAA Tournament teams from 2016. The Tigers will host three non-conference tournaments in the first four weeks of the season in February and early March. LSU will play 16 of the first 22 in Tiger Park.
The 24-game SEC slate for Torina’s Tigers begins with a familiar foe with a road series at Auburn as both teams have played eight times over the last three years, including meeting up in the SEC Tournament title game last May.
All four of LSU’s SEC road opponents qualified for NCAA’s, while two in Auburn and Alabama both made it to the WCWS as well. The Crimson Tide will be LSU’s second away SEC series April 7-9 in Tuscaloosa, kicking off a stretch of seven consecutive road games, ending the following weekend with a trip to Oxford to take on Ole Miss.
LSU Conference home series opener will be against the Georgia Bulldogs who LSU elimiated in last year’s Women’s College World Series. The Bulldogs have former LSU pitching great Rachelle Fico who Torina coached from 2012-2013 is in her second season as pitching at Georgia.
Torina coaching career began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Stetson University from 2000-02, leaving her mark on the Hatters’ softball program after helping lead the 2001 squad to a share of the regular season Atlantic Sun Conference championship.
Torina then went to Houston and spent five seasons as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Houston from 2003-07. The Cougars claimed the 2007 Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. One of Torina’s most prized recruits, Angel Shamblin, went on to become a three-time C-USA Pitcher of the Year (06-08), an NFCA All-South Region selection and a 2008 NFCA All-American.
Success at Houston led Torina to her first Head Coaching job at Florida International Torina was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year twice during her run at FIU leading the Panthers to a 129-111 record in four seasons and directed FIU to the NCAA Tournament Regional Final in 2010.
During her playing career, Torina help guide the Florida Gators to the 1998 Southeastern Conference regular season championship team as the team’s ace pitcher. Torina posted 60 career wins, which currently ranks tied for fourth in the Gators record book.
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