Mack ready to take on any role
Brittany Mack has won 54 games in four seasons as an LSU pitcher.
She beat Georgia on Senior Day not with her arm, but with her bat, driving a fifth-inning double to center for her first hit in seven career plate appearances. Her surprise RBI provided the only run Sunday as LSU avoided a three-game sweep.
“I still hit with the girls just in case (coach Beth Torina) wants to throw me in there that one time,” Mack said.
Mack, who started at designated player in the Senior Day farewell, will return to her role in the circle when the 22nd-ranked Tigers face Kentucky this weekend at the UK Softball Complex.
She’s a natural there, a fiery competitor whose off-speed pitches dance like Wiffle balls.
Along with junior star Rachele Fico, Mack (14-9, 2.49 ERA) helps give LSU one of the most respected pitching tandems in the nation.
But the senior from Round Rock, Texas, said she will be ready if the Tigers need her to pick up a bat and provide an offensive spark. She said she’s willing to do whatever it takes — hit, pitch, drive the bus — to help her team win.
“If we hurt both of our catchers or all of our outfielders,” Mack said, smiling, “I will go out there and do whatever I need to do.”
She proved that Sunday when she passed on Torina’s invitation to pitch against Georgia in her final home game because she thought having Fico in the circle gave LSU a better chance.
Fico had given Georgia fits in the opening game of the series, holding the Bulldogs scoreless for 14 innings. Mack had a much harder time in the second game, giving up six runs on eight hits.
So Fico pitched the finale — and Mack hit for her.
“I wasn’t really surprised by the decision because I know it was the right decision for the team that day,” Torina said. “The fact that she came up with a hit is pretty much just icing on the cake for her selfless gesture and doing what she needs to do for this program, which I think is something you’ve seen from Brittany Mack the entire time she’s been a part of LSU softball.”
Mack has enjoyed a stellar LSU career, but the 5-foot-10 right-hander hasn’t been on a team that has advanced past NCAA regionals.
She nearly got the Tigers by Texas A&M single-handedly last year before giving up a tying homer in the seventh and eventually losing to the Aggies in nine innings. Her freshman and sophomore seasons were cut short because of arm issues.
As the Tigers enter their final regular-season series, they hope to bolster a résumé that has them tied for fourth with Georgia in the Southeastern Conference standings.
There’s still a chance LSU could earn the right to host a regional by finishing strong.
“These four years have been so unbelievable,” Mack said. “This season is just going to top it off as long as we can just keep going and keep winning.”
Mack, for her part, will do whatever it takes to help make that happen.
Whatever it takes.