JUNE 22 UPDATE
LSU Introduces Softball Coach Beth Torina
BATON ROUGE – LSU vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva formally introduced Beth Torina as the program’s softball coach during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon held at the Athletics/Administration Building.
Below are quotes from both Alleva and Torina. The entire news conference is available for free in the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net
LSU Softball Press Conference
June 22, 2011
VICE CHANCELLOR AND DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS JOE ALLEVA
Opening Statement …
“Thank you all for coming today, I appreciate it. I’ve always believed in my heart that things work out the right way and the way they’re supposed to work out. I know that’s the case today. You’re going to just love this young lady as our new softball coach. When we knew that Yvette (Girouard) was going to retire, we had a lot of time to make a lot of phone calls. Everyone we called mentioned Beth (Torina’s) name, and they said positive things about her. We kept hearing her name and hearing her name. Finally, when the opportunity presented itself, we brought her in here and met her. I learned some tremendous things about her. First, she’s very smart. You can’t coach smart, folks. Either you’re smart or you’re not smart. She’s smart, she’s unbelievably competitive. She has a great work ethic, and she’s really passionate about what she does. She loves to coach and to teach. When you put those things together, you’ve got a winning combination. Believe me, here at LSU, we have a winning combination. She’s going to be an outstanding coach here for many, many years to come. It’s my pleasure to introduce Beth Torina to you.”
LSU SOFTBALL COACH BETH TORINA
Opening Statement …
“I just want to start with a few ‘thank you’s’. Thanks to my husband, Nick, for being here with me today. I want to thank Julie Berg and Pete Garcia for a great experience at FIU and encouraging me through this process. Of course, thank you to Joe (Alleva) and Miriam (Segar) for the opportunity to be at LSU. I couldn’t be more excited to be here today.
“I’m excited that I was chosen for this process. I know there were a lot of talented coaches in the poll for this. There are a lot of talented coaches in the country, but I’m glad that I was the right fit for LSU and that I’m standing here today as the new softball coach at LSU.
“I’m here to win in everything we do. I’m here to win the SEC, I’m here to compete for a national championship. I’m also here for these girls to win in the classroom, the community and just be excellent in everything we do here at LSU. I was instantly convinced to be here as soon as I saw the atmosphere that this school brings. The facility that was created by the administration and Coach (Yvette) Girouard and those that back this program, and the support from this community for this university was unbelievable. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of that as well.
“When Coach Girouard retired, I was concerned that they would find someone to replace her that would respect everything she’s done. I think it was a sad day for softball when she retired, but I know it was a great day for her. I feel good that I’m going to be able to do this, still respect her and continue a lot of the traditions that she started here and do it in the right way. I have the highest regard for her and everything she’s done throughout her career.
“I’m excited to return to the SEC. I played in the SEC [at Florida], and I’m excited to compete at that level. There are some unbelievable coaches throughout this conference. I’m excited to be a member of that group and excited to compete against them.
“I got to meet with our girls last night, and I really enjoyed it. They have a lot of personality which I like. I plan to make sure that we’re the hardest working team in the SEC, and we’ll never get beat any day because of our work. We’re going to outwork everyone. They’re a great group, I enjoyed it. I like personality, and I like them to be enthusiastic and passionate. I really enjoyed meeting them.
“Every day I’m amazed at the opportunities this sport has given me. I know it’s just a game, but it has given me so many opportunities. I know at the end of the day some of you may question some decisions I make, but you’ll never question my heart or passion for the sport of softball and for LSU. That’s why I’m here today.”
On if she saw herself as a candidate for the position when it first opened and her reaction when it was first filled…
“I’ve always thought that it was a great job and a great opportunity. I think you kind of have to be in the right place at the right time to get a job like this, so I was not surprised when it was filled. I was very excited to get a phone call and be considered when it was opened again.”
On her message to the players when she first met them…
“My message to them was mostly just about me, my philosophy and what I saw for this program. It really didn’t have a lot to do with the things they’ve been through in the past. I hope they feel confident in the decision that they’ve made and the decision that I’m here to stay and support them. I made sure they had all of my contact information and just let them know I’m here to stay. I’m here for them. We’re going to get this thing started and get it started right.”
On if LSU was a dream job…“It definitely is. I enjoyed competing in the SEC so much. Of course when you’re a coach and you’re competitive, you want to be best and compete at the highest level. In my opinion, the SEC is the highest level. I’m ready for the SEC to win its first national championship. I would love to be a part of that, so it definitely was something I always wanted to do.”
On if she has a hitting coach in mind…
“First, I’m really excited about the pitching staff. I have actually been a fan of those young ladies [Rachele Fico and Brittany Mack], watching them play in 18 and under (leagues), and as they’ve grown up. I’ve been a fan for a long time, so I’m really excited about the pitching staff that I’m inheriting. As far as hiring assistants, I definitely have some good candidates in mind. There are a lot of good candidates out there. I haven’t made any final decisions on that yet. I do understand that we will want to address the offense. Of course, I’m a pitcher; I would have hired an offensive coach anyway to match up with me, but I haven’t made any decisions there yet.”
On the facilities and resources at LSU…
“The facilities here are unlike any other I’ve ever seen. I told the girls I get goose bumps about 20 times I walk into that place [Tiger Park]. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s the best facility I’ve ever seen. My hat is off to all of those who had that done and to the administration for the support that they put into that. It’s absolutely amazing, and I feel like it’s a place where girls will want to come play. They will fight to play there. Hopefully, our players will respect it every day and understand how lucky they are to be part of this program when they step foot on that field.”
On what she saw in terms of this program from the outside looking in…
“This program has a ton of great history and tradition. I don’t think we need to completely reinvent the wheel and throw out everything they’re doing. This is a great program. There are talented players. I’m going to come in, just be myself and do the things that I think have made me successful and make other softball programs successful. Like I said, I think we’ll work hard. We won’t get outworked and really, we’ll just try and compete, but I don’t feel like there is a need to reinvent everything that was done at LSU. This is historically an extremely successful program. Of course, we want to be in the World Series every single year. We don’t want to take a year off on that, and that will be our goal every day as we’re working.”
On if she has experience recruiting in the state of Louisiana…
“I’ve recruited nationally throughout my career. I do need to continue to improve my ties in Louisiana. Of course, that’s the first place we’ll start is getting our home-grown talent to make sure they are playing at LSU, and we’ll branch out from there. I think Texas is another great option. There are a lot of talented softball players in the southeastern United States, so of course we’ll start there and try to get home-grown talent to win us that national championship.”
On if the events of the past two weeks are going to hang over this program for the near future…
“I really don’t. I have a lot of respect for Patrick Murphy. He is a great coach. I look forward to competing against him in the SEC, but I truly feel that LSU hired the right coach for the job.”
On scheduling UL-Lafayette in the regular season…
“Right now I believe the schedule has already been completed for the next year. I’m not sure how far out it goes. Of course that’s something we can look into in the future, but I believe that’s already done.”
On hiring assistant coaches…
“I haven’t made any decisions yet on it. I have a lot of good applicants. I have a lot of people in mind. I haven’t finalized that yet. I’m just trying to get here and get things started. Meeting the team was my first priority. That will be the next thing on my list.”
On interviewing the current assistant coaches at LSU and the coaching search process…
“Yes. I will talk with them first. Honestly, I wasn’t looking for a new job necessarily. I was happy where I was at. I enjoyed it there. I enjoyed my team. I think they’re going to have a very successful next few years. It wasn’t something I was looking to do, so it wasn’t something I was upset about when they made the (initial) hire. I didn’t feel bad or anything. When I did get the call though, I was extremely excited, and I was thrilled to be considered. I’m just so appreciative to be here however I got here. I’m excited I have the job.”
SOUTH AFRICA STAYS IN WORLD SPORTS SPOTLIGHT
World Championship in Cape Town Less Than Six Months Away
PLANT CITY, FLORIDA (USA) — The 16 countries that will compete have all officially entered. Media credential applications are being accepted. Tickets go on sale at the end of next week. And engagement on the Web continues to increase.
It’s all a part of preparations for the International Softball Federation IX Jr. Women’s World Championship in South Africa later this year.
Participants in the (age) 19-and-under fast pitch event will be: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, USA, and Zimbabwe. The tournament will take place from December 6-17 in Cape Town at the Turfhall Softball Stadium. The venue was originally planned as part of the city’s 2004 Olympic bid and is undergoing upgrades in preparation for the world championship.
ISF President Don Porter said, “The organizing committee is giving a world-class effort in making this our marquee event of 2011. They are showing great pride in putting South Africa in the spotlight for well over a week while the junior world championship is going on and I’m confident that the athletes, officials, spectators, and the media will all come away impressed.”
In terms of the latter two audiences that the ISF president mentioned, the accreditation process has already opened for media members to apply for covering the tournament. And, for fans, tickets will go on sale next Friday, July 1st.
In both cases – applying for media credentials or purchasing tickets – the destination is the official world championship website, www.jwwc2011.co.za, which also has a link (at the top) to a Facebook page that had been launched for the tournament.
Mr. Porter added that representatives from the ISF will conduct their next site visit from August 6-9, with the last of those serving as a launch day and coinciding with the celebration of Women’s Day in South Africa.
The previous edition of the Jr. Women’s World Championship was held in the Netherlands (2007), with USA dethroning the defending gold medalist Japan via a 3-1 victory in the grand final.
USA Softball Junior Men’s Fast Pitch National team hosts development camp
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The USA Softball Junior Men’s Fast Pitch development camp is underway this week at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. With over 30 athletes in attendance, the camp will focus on fundamental skills and game situations all the while focusing on preparations for the 2012 International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Men’s World Championships in Parana, Argentina.
Team USA will be led by head coach Tim Lyon (Milford, Conn.) and assisted by Gary Mullican (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Scott Standerfer (Ashmore, Ill.).
“The coaching staff has been scouting and gathering information for the past two years and we are excited to finally get onto the field and begin preparations for the 2012 World Championships,” said head coach Tim Lyon.
The camp kicked off on Monday and will continue through Friday with scrimmage games scheduled for every afternoon session. The following athletes below are involved in the pool of players considered for the World Championship team.
Marcus Alcaraz (Las Cruces, N.M.)
Matthew Alcaraz (Las Cruces, N.M.)
Daniel Allen (Springfield, Va.)
Anthony Aresco (Stoneham, Mass.)
Ky Bobeldyke (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Gunnar Bouvy (Reese, Mich.)
Danial Centeno (Salem, Utah)
Chayce Christensen (Bonney Lake, Wash.)
Jake Dalton (Lake Crystal, Minn.)
Brandon Gilman (Lake Crystal, Minn.)
Michael Gonzalez (Mesquite, N.M.)
Christopher Hansen (Murray, Utah)
Colin Hopkins (Bloomington, Ill.)
Tyler Johnson (Union, Mo.)
Zachery Lach (Frankenmuth, Mich.)
Michael Lewis (Amboy, Minn.)
Jonathan Lynch (Cape Girardeau, Mo.)
Lorenzo Melendez (El Paso, Texas)
Jordan Mellen (Payson, Utah)
Brent Meshke (Lake Crystal, Minn.)
Mauro Olivarria (San Diego, Calif.)
Jerlin Rutt (Ephrata, Pa.)
Jake Rutt (Bernville, Pa.)
Colton Sheriff (Pleasant Grove, Utah)
Austin Smith (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Nicholas Serrato (Corona, Calif.)
Drew Thurston (Roscommon, Mich.)
Austin Tuttle (Payson, Utah)
Matthew Williams (Geneva, Ill.)
Justin Wurtz (New Haven, Mo.)
Spencer Yackel (Lake Crystal, Minn.)
Anthony York (Chula Vista, Calif.)
The ASA is also pleased to announce that Tim Sonnentag of Marathon, Wis., has contributed significant financial support for the USA Softball Junior Men’s Fast Pitch Team for training camps and the development of players. Along with his commitment to develop the Junior Men’s program, he and his family have also established the Sonnentag Family Scholarship. The scholarship was established in order to promote educational opportunities for members of the USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team Players Pool and to encourage good citizenship and volunteerism.
“I am glad to I can help support the USA Junior Men’s National Team. I have worked with Tim and Scott before and know their dedication to getting the boys team back where it belongs,” said Sonnentag. “This is a great game and I know this will help develop young players and pitchers.”
Below is a schedule of events for the Junior Men’s Fast Pitch program through the 2012 World Championships. For more information, log on to www.usasoftball.com
June 20-25, 2011
Chula Vista, Calif.
July 24-30, 2011
Training Camp featuring six exhibitions against Argentina
Chula Vista, Calif.
August 4-7, 2011
Training Camp and clinic
North Mankato, Minn.
November 1-10, 2012
ISF IX Jr. Men’s World Championships
* Other events to be announced.