TR TV: Girouard previews Fall Softball

LSU softball coach Yvette Girouard met with the media Tuesday afternoon to discuss her team's fall activities.

After just over a week of fall practice for the 2007 season, LSU head softball coach Yvette Girouard briefed the media about the team's progress and upcoming events. The Tigers will host a "Meet the Tigers" event on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Tiger Park with a chance for fans to meet the members of the 2008 squad and watch the conclusion of an intrasquad scrimmage. This weekend, LSU will host the Fall Collegiate Classic tournament at Tiger Park. The Tigers will participate in five games as part of the 10-game two-day tournament.

2007 LSU Fall Collegiate Classic

Saturday, October 27

Nicholls State vs. LSU-Eunice                                                               9 a.m.

LSU vs. Hinds Community College                                                          11 a.m.

LSU-Eunice vs. LSU                                                                            1 p.m.

Hinds Community College vs. Nicholls State                                             3 p.m.

Bossier Parish Community College vs. LSU                                               5 p.m.

Hinds Community College vs. Bossier Parish Community College                   7 p.m.


Sunday, October 28

Bossier Parish Community College vs. Nicholls State                                  10 a.m.

LSU vs. Bossier Parish Community College                                               Noon

LSU-Alexandria vs. LSU                                                                       2 p.m.

Nicholls State vs. LSU-Alexandria                                                          4 p.m.


Opening Statement…

"We've been in practice for about a week and a half now and it's been the typical fall with freshmen that look like they don't know how to play softball anymore. They are a little bit overwhelmed. We always talk about the fall being a learning time. We are not concerned with wins and losses right now. It's all about getting acclimated to our system. There is a lot of teaching going on. You can look into their eyes and see that deer in the headlights look. They have just got to be able to breathe and play.

"On Thursday night we will meet the Diamond Backers and our fans so that they can get a brief look at our players before the weekend. We play three games on Saturday and two games on Sunday. It's kind of a fun time because the kids actually get a chance to go out on the field and play. There are free substitutions and not a lot of rules except in what you do on the field. It is an opportunity for the girls to be able to go out there without a lot of consequences like in the spring.

"Our workouts have been good. It's softball weather because it's cold outside and raining, so not much has changed there. We've been able to do a lot in a little time. We got to go into the indoor yesterday and get some work in, but it looks like the weather is going to be really nice for us this weekend. It's more important for these young ladies that they can be in the situation where there are no consequences.

"It's a different look team. We lost a lot of good players in the three seniors we lost - Emily Turner, Kristen Hobbs and Leslie Klein. It's an opportunity for the new players and the young players to step in and shine."


On what you are going to try to get out of the tournament this weekend…

"We're going to do a lot of different lineups because, knock on wood that what happened to us last year with three broken fingers in the infield doesn't happen again. If that happens this year we might be in a little more trouble than we were last year because we had a lot more utility players. It's an opportunity to figure things out. We get to throw kids out in situations and see who survives or who steps up."


Beyond Dani Hofer, who will need to step up in the circle this year…

"Tiffany Garcia needs to step up as a senior and I think she will. Cody Trahan has looked awfully good. She's battling some injuries. She's already lost one disc and she has another herniated disc in her back right now. That's kind of an issue for us and we are going to have to be very careful with her to see what is going to happen down the line. At 19 years old you can only lose so many discs. We are being really careful with that and we will have to be smart about it, but she's looked awfully good. She has the potential to be very good. Casey Faile is a freshman and will get some playing time also, but Dani Hofer is going to have to step up. She is a first-team All-SEC and she's going to have to have that kind of year again."


What does Dani Hofer need to improve on in the circle…

"Dani has just got to be more consistent. We've got to get to that Dani Hofer that crossed that line last year and did very well in the SEC, but she didn't do very well in the Super Regional after doing great in the Regional. There's no question that she is going to have to lead this team and she knows that. We're really kicking her booty with conditioning and she's handled everything. She wants the challenge and wants the ball in the circle, so half the battle there is already won."


What differences will fans see in this year's team…

"I think we are going to be solid defensively and I'm hoping to see a little more manufactured speed in the game. Dee Dee Henderson, who has worked so hard over the years, is maybe a little like (former Tiger football player) Dwayne Bowe after his Lasik surgery. We just put Dee Dee in some new contacts and it seems like it has really worked. She has tremendous speed and played for half of the season last year before she broke her finger. She never really could return from that, but she looks dynamite again this year. She was a factor on defense in that she was a minus factor and we couldn't play her on defense. With the contacts and a lot of vision training on her own over the summer, she really looks good and we're hoping that she can play some defense because she's a major factor for us offensively and we'd like to get her into the lineup. That is the difference that you might see. There might be more slappers in the game for us."


Who needs to step up and take a key role for this team to be successful…

"The main person is Dani Hofer because it starts in the circle. She's going to have to have last year's year and maybe a little better. Killian Roessner was a first-team All-American catcher and she needs to have that same type of year to match that. Shannon Stein has done a really good job of anchoring the infield. Jess Mouse is a kid you are probably going to hear a lot about. She's probably going to play third base for us as a freshman. She looks like she's been playing softball her entire life. She was a tremendous get for us. She was an early commitment by the time she was a sophomore. She is going to be a tremendous ball player. Jazz Jackson looks much better than she did her freshman year at this point. She was a second-team All-SEC and we need her to make that first team. Those are just some of the names you'll see.

"Tiffany Shaw out of Louisiana has blinding speed but needs to work on a lot of things. Ashley Applegate is one of those kids that looks like she's lost in the headlights now, but she's a very good softball talent. It's just a matter of breathing out there and forgetting about what you're supposed to do when you come up to the plate and cut your head off and play. Know what you are supposed to do on deck and realize the speed of college game and get acclimated. It's only two weeks into the fall season for us, so we've got to trust our ability as coaches that we recruited very good players and these kids just have to relax and play."


After several key losses from last year, what changes to key personnel are you looking at…

 "There was some attrition from last year, but the team you see on the field is the team that we are going to coach. There are some bats in the lineup that we are trying to find places for. Quinlan Duhon has played in the outfield for us for many years. She's a kid that we need to get into the lineup because she's just a pure winner. She's one of those kids that just competes. She's a warrior and wants to be there in crunch time, so we've got to find a place for her to play. We are experimenting with her at first base and she's done a very good job so far."

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