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LSU softball senior Shelbi Sunseri had amazing weekend; head coach is making sure everyone notices

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BATON ROUGE - LSU softball senior Shelbi Sunseri had an amazing weekend leading her team, and head coach Beth Torina isn't letting it go unnoticed.

"I think the performance by Shelbi Sunseri was one of the most incredible things that I've seen in my time here," Torina said. "And I'm not sure if it's going unnoticed, but I'm not sure if it's getting what it truly deserves."

"Two homeruns, 11 strikeouts, just led the team. It's almost like a switch flipped for her," Torina said.

The senior pitcher and slugger had an undeniable shift in mentality leading to her success over the weekend.

"I think I just told myself like enough was enough. My team needs me as much as like I need them," Sunseri explained. "If I can give them an opportunity when I'm on the mound, then like, they're going to be fine behind me."

"It was like, 'you know what, I'm done messing around. I'm here, I'm good,'" Torina said of the senior's performance."'I'm gonna lead this team,' and then said, 'I'm gonna do it myself with one big swing in the tenth.'"

And Sunseri did just that.

She rallied from a rough start to her season. Before her switch flipped, her bat was ice-cold — just six hits in the Tigers' previous 12 games.

"My brain is always going... we always talk about slowing the game down and slowing it to our pace. And I've learned like over the years that I'm much better when I play slower and not faster," Sunseri said.

Sunseri has learned that she needs to get out of her own head. An impromptu visit by national pitching coach Tom House helped to crystallize that point.

"'Smart people are dumb hitters.' That was one of the things he kind of said," Sunseri explained. "And we're so smart, and we overthink so much that like if we just like played, if we would just like stop trying to think so much about the game, then like we would probably do better."

Sunseri has developed a unique declutter technique that helps her keep in rhythm at the plate.

"I'll sing a song, like I'm very much like, I'll sing a song when I'm in the batter's box because if you're seeing a song and thinking about the chorus and the lyrics, then I'm not able to think about what the pitcher is gonna do."

So what's on the playlist to success?

It might surprise you, but it probably shouldn't.

"They are all Christian songs, so one of my go-to's is 'I Can Only Imagine.' That, and 'Amazing Grace.' Those are kind of the two that really just kind of replay in my head. There's something that's kind of slow, slow little melodies."

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