LAFAYETTE — These days are good days for Louisiana-Lafayette softball designated hitter Sara Corbello.
How good? How about home runs in six consecutive Sun Belt Conference games, a streak she will try to extend in this weekend’s road series against Georgia State? How about 10 RBIs in her past eight games.
“Now it’s just like, ‘I’m going to take that one shot every at-bat,’ ” Corbello said. “And it’s not result-oriented; whatever happens, happens. We’re just going to roll with it.”
Yes, things are going good for Corbello, who has started each of the No. 5 ranked Cajuns’ 32 games this season as the designated player.
And thanks to her perseverance through some not-so-good days, she’s able to appreciate what’s currently happening a little bit more.
“Somebody just asked, ‘What clicked?’ Nothing clicked,” coach Mike Lotief said. “Her persistence, her resilience, her strength of character to stay at it is the message here. Not that we changed something in her stance or in her swing.”
Lotief is fond of pointing out the adversity his team and his players have had to face and rise above. But it’s not often he’s bringing up on-field adversity because there hasn’t been much of that in recent years.
Corbello bucks that trend.
After starting 62 games and hitting .291 as a freshman, Corbello’s production fell off a cliff. She earned 50 starts as a sophomore despite hitting just .180.
Her role was slashed even further last year when she saw just 37 plate appearances, though she often found success in those appearances with 16 RBI on just six hits.
She was struggling, said those who read the box score.
It’s all relative, said her coach.
“When we say struggle, it’s because she’s not getting a hit every time she comes up,” Lotief said. “They put that label on her, ‘Sara, you’re struggling.’ And that’s not what I’ve seen when I’m around her in life or at the field or in the cages.
“You don’t see a kid who’s burdened by that label that she’s struggling.”
Corbello came into this season with no expectations about what her role might be on a team that returned almost all of last year’s every-day lineup.
She was simply preparing herself to do whatever was asked of her the best she could, whether that meant as a starter, like her freshman season, or as a pinch hitter, like last year. Either way, she knew she would have a role, because she wasn’t going to be ditched as she struggled.
“Coach Mike has stuck with me for four years and that really means a lot,” Corbello said. “It’s special.”
Now struggle really isn’t applicable when describing Corbello’s game. Not with home runs in six consecutive league contests. These times are good.
“Now the world gets to see the true Sara, the kid that works hard and is passionate and cares about her teammates and is fun loving,” Lotief said. The game is rewarding her. It’s rewarding her for staying with it.
“I’m glad to introduce y’all to the new Sara Corbello. And the new Sara Corbello is the same.”