New LSU softball coach Beth Torina will be in the dugout of the USSSA Pride as the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series returns to Sulphur beginning Thursday.
Torina, who took over at LSU in June, is an assistant coach for the Pride under University of Florida coach Tim Walton.
Last year, when McMurry Park in Sulphur hosted the NPF’s signature event for the first time, the Pride defeated the Chicago Bandits in the tournament’s best-of-three finals. The club, based in Kissimmee, Fla., enters this year as the No. 1 seed on the strength of its 30-9 record in the regular season.
Action in the four-team tournament gets under way when the third-seeded Bandits face the second-seeded Akron Racers at 6 p.m. Thursday to begin a best-of-three series. The Pride meets the fourth-seeded Tennessee Diamonds at 8:30 p.m. to start another best-of-three series.
Both opening series resume Friday night and could continue with “if necessary” games to be played Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The winners meet in a best-of-three championship series that begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, continues at 1 p.m. Sunday and has an “if necessary” game at 4 p.m.
Bernie Geunther and Yvette Girouard, Torina’s predecessor as LSU softball coach, will call the action Thursday, Friday and Saturday as part of the NPF’s live streaming through www.profastpitch.com.
On Sunday, ESPN2 have live coverage of the 1 p.m. game with Geunther on the call and Jennie Finch and Leah O’Brien-Amico as color analysts.
If the 4 p.m. Sunday game is necessary, ESPN3.com will carry it live and ESPN2 on tape delay Monday at 9 p.m.