When their game is on, pitchers can challege opposing defenses – for 14 straight innings, in some instances – with nasty changeups, curveballs and dropballs.
Fourteen straight innings can be
brutal for a pitcher, but that is exactly what senior LSU pitcher Emily Turner
produced on the final day of the 2006 season. With the season on the line and
the team down 1-0 in a super regional series, Turner put together seven fearless
innings when she managed to come away with a 4-3 victory over eventual national
"We were one game away. Thirty
minutes of rest and I would have been fine," Turner said. "That
But that was then and this is now, according to head coach Yvette Girouard. Her squad was one win away from reaching their season goal, and that she said is the best motivational tool of all.
The team's motto reads "Unfinished Business," and for the pitching staff, it defines their goals for the 2007 season.
Turner produced an incredible season in 2006, one that she said saw her grow into the pitcher she has always wanted to be. According to Turner, Girouard told her at the beginning of the season she was going to mold her into an All-American pitcher. As Turner continued to improve as the season progressed, Girouard said she could pinpoint the exact day she became an All-American.
"One day she finally mastered her changeup and everything else started to explode off that," Girouard said. "I had her sign that workout and told her this is the day you became an All-American."
A 5-foot-11, right-handed pitcher
"It was an enlightening experience," Turner said, tearing up. "She was the only one that had faith in me at that time. She made me feel great. She was my inspiration last year. I owe everything to her."
Turner is the Tigers' go-to gal for
now, but Girouard hopes sophomore Dani Hofer is the go-to gal of the future.
Hofer is another 5-foot-11-inch right-handed pitcher, but she hails from the
East Coast in
"Dani (Hofer) is back and threw better in the fall," Girouard said. "She started off like a house of fire last year, then faced some adversity. It was probably the first time in her life that she faced that adversity pretty hard. Her confidence was shook."
The third pitcher will be junior
Tiffany Garcia. A
Girouard said Garcia worked hard over the offseason and has made tremendous improvements during the fall-ball season.
"I'm feeling really good. I feel more confident in my pitches, and I'm working more ahead in the count instead of behind in the count," Garcia said. "In the fall, I worked really hard on being more consistent and keying in on each pitch."