LSU tries again with softball coaching hire
BATON ROUGE – Beth Torina, who guided Florida International’s program to new heights and a former University of Florida standout, has been selected to take the head coaching position of the LSU softball program, vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva announced on Monday.
Torina, a two-time Sun Belt Coach of the Year recipient, led FIU to a 129-111 record in four seasons. She also directed the Golden Panthers to its first NCAA Tournament victory in 2010. The 2010 campaign also saw FIU sweep the SBC post-season awards as Kasey Barrett was the league’s Pitcher of the Year, Ashley McClain was tabbed Player of the Year and Brie Rojas garnered Freshman of the Year status.
Individually, Torina coached 10 players to 14 All-SBC selections sparked by Jessy Alfonso and McClain, who have picked up All-SBC First-Team honors during each of the last two seasons. McClain also has collected 2010 and 2011 NFCA All-South Region First-Team accolades.
Torina also serves as an assistant coach under Florida head coach Tim Walton for the defending champion USSSA Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch League. The roster features multiple Olympians, including ESPN softball analyst Jessica Mendoza.
A press conference to formally introduce Torina as LSU’s fifth softball coach will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at the Athletic Administration Building. The press conference can also been seen at www.LSUsports.net/live.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Beth to LSU and for her to take the leadership reigns of our softball program,” Alleva said. ““She brings great passion, energy and character to our program and will wear the purple and gold with pride!”
Prior to FIU, Torina spent six seasons as the top assistant at the University of Houston. She served as the program’s recruiting coordinator where the Cougars won the 2007 Conference USA championship and made two NCAA Regional appearances.
One of her most prized recruits, Angel Shamblin, went on to become a two-time C-USA Pitcher of the Year, an NFCA All-South Region selection and a 2008 NFCA All-American. In addition to Shamblin, Torina saw seven UH hurlers receive all-league accolades during her tenure.
Torina 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 an Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Tri-Championship. Torina’s pitchers set a quartet of schools records, including wins (45), shutouts (20), strikeouts (385) and strikeouts per seven innings (6.70).
Torina earned her B.S. in health sciences and occupational therapy from Florida in 2000. During her playing career with the Gators, she was a member of the 1998 Southeastern Conference Regular Season Championship team as the squad’s top pitcher. She posted 60 career wins, which currently ranks tied for fourth in the UF record book.