BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU head coach Beth Torina knew she'd have a pretty good softball team this season. The addition of Stanford transfer Carley Hoover gave them the chance to be great. So far, Hoover has hardly disappointed, posting a 16-5 overall record and minuscule 1.67 ERA.
The freshman was also named the NCAA regional MVP as LSU fought through the loser's bracket to defeat Arizona State twice Sunday to advance to the Super Regionals. The Tigers will host perennial powerhouse Arizona at Tiger Park, with a trip to the Women's College World Series on the line.
"Yeah this is pretty much exactly what I wanted and expected," says Hoover of the opportunity. "I really couldn't write it out any better than what's going on right now."
Hoover could've transferred to many different schools, but chose LSU largely because of the head coach.
"I knew who Coach Torina was, and I knew what she was all about," Hoover said. "I knew how much she knew about pitching."
The 6-foot-2, right-hander says she met Torina at an Alabama softball camp in the 8th grade. Torina was the featured pitching coach and immediately called Hoover "crazy legs." The Clemson, South Carolina native obviously had some technique and fundamentals to work on. Even as she transferred from Stanford, Hoover hardly felt she was a finished product and still doesn't.
"I just knew that I needed to be changed a lot in pitching, and I knew she could help me," said Hoover. "I think that's a really big reason why I'm here. I still think I'm very underdeveloped and not nearly as developed as Baylee Corbello or Kelsee Selman. If you watch their bullpen, they do things I still can't do."
Despite Hoover's harsh self-critique, LSU fans are more than happy with the results so far. During LSU's two wins over Arizona State Sunday, Hoover fired nearly 10 innings of shutout softball and allowed just four measly hits.
The Tigers and Wildcats begin their Super Regional Saturday at 2 p.m.