BATON ROUGE, La - The No. 19 LSU softball team begins its 2011 campaign and embarks on its third season in the state-of-the-art Tiger Park this weekend. The Tigers welcome Louisiana Tech, Bowling Green and Purdue to the capitol city for the Wilson/DeMarini Tiger Classic.
"The team is so ready to start playing," head coach Yvette Girouard said. "It looks like we'll have some sunshine and good weather over the weekend. It's just time to get on the dirt and start playing for real."
LSU faces Louisiana Tech [3 p.m.] and Bowling Green [5:30 p.m.] on Friday followed by tilts with Bowling Green [12:30 p.m.] and Purdue [3 p.m.] on Saturday. LSU wraps up opening weekend on Sunday versus Purdue [11:30 a.m.] and Louisiana Tech [2 p.m.].
LSU brings back 13 letterwinners highlighted by six position starters and two pitchers from a squad that went 45-16 last season.
Reigning SEC Freshman of the Year and NFCA All-South Region First-Team pick Rachele Fico is looking to build off a 20-7 season where she picked up 10 victories over RPI Top 50 opponents. She ranked among the SEC's elite in ERA (1.15), runs allowed (31), opponent batting average (.184) and strikeouts (161).
Brittany Mack, an All-Louisiana Honorable Mention selection, posted a 9-3 record and picked up 81 strikeouts over her 80.0 frames of work in 2010. She claimed wins in eight of her last nine decisions a season