LSU shortstop Taylor Pleasants' sacrifice is saving the Tigers season
BATON ROUGE - Taylor Pleasants' sacrifice may have saved LSU season. The shortstop battled through an injury that should have kept her out weeks.
"It's the kind of thing that like numbs your whole body. It's like you feel it there and then you're like, Oh, I can't move," Pleasants said.
She first got injured earlier in the season on a pitch against Michigan, but the real blow came two weeks later against Tennessee.
"It was against Ashley Rogers' rise ball outside, so I missed and it was bad after that," Pleasants said.
She suffered from a partially torn oblique. For a normal player, that would put them on a bench for around eight weeks, but not for Taylor Pleasants who wanted to help her team just a week later.
"It was just a different vibe. Whenever I was there, and whenever I wasn't, so I thought it would be best for the team if I was out there. Even if I wasn't at 100%," Pleasants said.
"The moment for me came at Ole Miss and Taylor hadn't played for a couple games and we had really struggled. She came to me and said, 'I will do whatever it takes, like just moving down the lineup. I won't be able to produce much but I can still play defense.' She was making a sacrifice on her own stats on her own numbers, knowing that she was going to have to probably take a lot of outs to the plate," LSU head coach Beth Torina said.
Typically an all-around hitter Pleasants had to change up her approach at the plate, which meant trying something she's never done before.
"I think she came up with the idea to start slapping," Torina said. "She knew she needed to be on the field defensively and she was trying to find any way to get out there."
"I was just trying to do something without it hurting and high top was pretty much the only thing that I could do because I'm swinging down and swinging down with the like less torque on my body," Pleasants said.
"Whether she's slapping or swinging, she was able to find some success," Torina said.
After five hard weeks of rehabbing Pleasants gets the swing for the fences again.
"It felt so freeing to be able to be me again, pretty much having to do something different was kind of a challenge, but being able to come back was amazing," Pleasants said.
With Pleasants back playing like her old self, the Tigers are hoping to find the spark to help them get to their first College World Series since 2017.
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