June 23, 2021

Former pitcher Torzilli returns to circle for depleted Syracuse

first_img Published on April 24, 2013 at 12:26 am Contact Debbie: [email protected] | @debbietruong Facebook Twitter Google+ With the number of available pitching options dwindling, pitching coach Jenna Caira turned to an unfamiliar face at the mound — Gaby Torzilli.Lindsay Taylor remained benched with an undisclosed injury and Stacy Kuwik had already pitched seven straight innings in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Seton Hall. Lindsey Larkin started the second game, but was quickly swapped with Danielle Chitkowski, who also struggled against the Pirates.Having arrived at Syracuse as a pitcher, Torzilli approached Caira two weeks ago and volunteered herself for the position after realizing the team could use added help after the injury to Taylor. On Saturday, Torzilli gave up four runs — two of them earned — in 1.2 innings of work. Syracuse eventually fell 16-15.Torzilli and the Orange will play their last regular-season away games this week at Rutgers on Wednesday, followed by a three-game stand at South Florida during the weekend. For Torzilli, the games are among the last of her five-year Syracuse career, in which she’s been part of two teams that have won Big East championships and one that made it to the championship game of the Tempe Regional last season. Syracuse caps off its regular season at home the following weekend with a three-game series against Providence before heading to the Big East tournament.While Syracuse didn’t walk away with the win on Saturday, Torzilli’s approach to pitching was illustrative of the selflessness that’s helped win her respect among teammates.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“She’s always been that kind of player, very selfless,” said Caira, who came to Syracuse the same year as Torzilli. Throughout her time as Syracuse’s winningest pitcher, Caira said Torzilli was a constant voice of encouragement from the bench and on the field.Since having shoulder surgery that rendered her inactive for her entire sophomore season, Torzilli’s playing time has trailed off, but she returned to her role as pitcher on Saturday.After appearing in 38 games as a freshman, Torzilli appeared in a combined 23 games during her junior and senior seasons. In her fifth season with Syracuse, Torzilli has played in 14 games.While Torzilli conceded that watching from the bench during her sophomore season was tough, she’s confident she’s returned a stronger player.“It was rough because you’re just sitting there wanting to get out there and play and help, but you literally, physically can’t,” Torzilli said.And when Torzilli isn’t on the field producing, coaches and teammates agree she’s become a fixture of encouragement and selflessness on the bench. Watching from the Syracuse dugout in her seat next to assistant coach Wally King, Torzilli constantly cheers and chatters about the game, head coach Leigh Ross said.“Here’s a kid that loves being out there, wants to be there for the team,” Ross said. “But she can’t be out there because you’ve got other kids in her place. But she’s still trying to stay involved, trying to get better even though she’s on the side.”Torzilli is listed as a third baseman on the SU Athletics website, but her willingness to help out in any capacity makes her stand out to senior captain and shortstop Morgan Nandin.“She’s got a lot of heart,” Nandin said. “She comes to every single practice, every 6 a.m. She works her butt off.” Commentslast_img

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