LSU coach Beth Torina doesn’t really need a more permanent infield for the season opener. With so much depth at every position, this is more than a good thing.
“They’re making it hard for me to name a lineup, which is an awesome problem to have,” Torina said. “I don’t think that we have to set a lineup until we get to March, and even then, I still think that we can match up against different pitchers in the Southeastern Conference and different people from our opponents.”
The most important open position is catcher. There’s still an open competition between senior catcher Sydney Loupe, junior infielder Michaela Schlattman, sophomore infielder Sydney Springfield and freshman catcher and infielder CC Caccamise.
These four catchers are looking to help fill that gap that was left by one of the most decorated players in the program’s history, Sahvanna Jaquish. A four-time All-American, Jaquish got her first accolade as a freshman and continued to dominate at her position ever since.
But Jaquish doesn’t want the catchers to be just like her. In fact, she encourages them to find their own voice.
“I think that they have been working super hard in all aspects of the game,” Jaquish said. “They’ve been just trying to learn the pitchers, and I think that’s very important as a catcher.”
The second baseman position is also up for grabs. Former second baseman Constance Quinn was solid at not only her infield position, but also at-bat in her final season.
Quinn had 12 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games and recorded a .243 batting average.
Junior infielder and transfer Becca Schulte can play second base as well as shortstop. In her sophomore season at Butler Community College, Schulte hit .433 in 59 games and helped lead the Grizzlies to back-to-back NJCAA National Championships.
It’s likely for Schulte to see more time at second base for opening weekend.
“Becca is the loudest voice on the field a lot of days,” Torina said. “[She and Schlattman] bring a lot to the program, as well as to our lineup and to our team.”
Junior infielder Amber Serrett has started and played in all of LSU’s games last season at shortstop. The then-sophomore’s crowning moment came in the win against Florida Atlantic, where her bare-handed grab to end an inning earned her a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 list.
Now that Serrett is an upperclassman, her advice for all of the freshmen is to not try and do too much.
“They got here for a reason,” Serrett said. “They bring something unique to the team and they just do what they can and do what they know they can do.”
Springfield and fellow sophomore infielder Amanda Doyle will not only provide depth at their respective positions, but will also be available to drive in big runs.
“Those girls know how to hit for power and know when to go big,” Jaquish said. “I think that’s the maturity level that you’re going to see out of them this year.”