Rizzo steps up to the plate, takes on new position


Symiah Dorsey/The Lion's Roar

Shortstop Lindsey Rizzo steps up to the plate in the season-opening Lion Classic in February. Rizzo has since decorated her ongoing season with a .402 batting average. The Lady Lions currently sit 24-16 on the season and will face off against ULM on April 21 at 6 p.m.

In a season impacted by many changes, one softball player found herself breaking out of her comfort zone as she took on an entirely new position.

Junior infielder Lindsey Rizzo built her collegiate career as a shortstop for the Lady Lions. After starting all 23 games at shortstop in the 2020 season, Rizzo never expected to find herself playing third base.

Head softball coach Rick Fremin said Rizzo rose to the occasion when the team had to make adjustments for the season.

“She’s done a great job at the top of the lineup. She’s a competitor in the offensive box, and she adjusted to play another position for a portion of the season and handled the short game extremely well without any repercussion,” Fremin said.

For Rizzo, switching between the two positions has put her skills to the test, pushing her to adapt and think on her feet.

She said, “Our third baseman ended up getting hurt, so I went to third. I did not know what to do. It’s different footwork and different speed of the ball, but after playing there for a while, I loved it. When Coach moved me back to shortstop for one of our last games, I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’ I was getting so used to third. It’s such a drastic change, you have to play in a different mindset.”

The Baton Rouge native also highlighted her ongoing season with a .402 batting average, but according to Rizzo, her hitting stats are only a small part of the picture.

“My dad, after every game, is always on his phone looking at the stats, like ‘You’re at .400, you need to keep doing that,’ but honestly, I don’t really care about my batting average. I just care about getting the job done. If it goes up or down, it is what it is,” Rizzo said.

Fremin said Rizzo’s skill set has played an integral part in the team’s offense throughout the season.

He said, “She is a big piece of the puzzle, like a lot of them are, and she’s a good fit into what we look for in a player. We recruit a lot of shortstops who bring a lot to the plate offensively, and sometimes it allows them to transition to other positions just as it has with her moving over to third. She really helps set the tone for us to start fast and finish strong from an offensive standpoint.”

During games, Rizzo said she likes to set the tone by keeping the energy high all the way through.

“I think that I have grown a lot throughout this game being here at Southeastern. I am very quiet, but I think I’ve grown as a leader. I love having fun and making everyone else feel like it’s fun. Sometimes, we start getting down in the game, but I’m over here just dancing, trying to pump up the energy,” Rizzo said. 

Rizzo noted she not only found a deeper love for the game throughout her collegiate career, but she also found a family.

She said, “We’ve had a few ups and downs, but we’re a great group. Everyone loves each other. It’s like one big family, and [Coach Fremin] makes it family. I’m really glad I chose Southeastern. The whole experience is just awesome. They’re the perfect family.”