Beth Torina enters her fourth season as head coach of the FIU softball team in 2010-11 as the Panthers are coming off perhaps their most successful campaign in program history and looking to make this season even better.
Since Torina's arrival on campus, FIU has increased its win total in each year of her tenure and the former Florida standout enters this season with a career record of 98-84, just a pair of wins away from the century mark.
The 2010 campaign saw FIU post a record of 38-21 (17-7 SBC) as the Panthers secured the program's second-ever NCAA Tournament bid and FIU softball's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. Along the way, FIU picked up four NFCA All-Region nods and five All-Sun Belt Conference selections, including four first-team picks. In addition, the Panthers completed an SBC awards sweep as senior Kasey Barrett was named Pitcher of the Year, sophomore Ashley McClain was tabbed Player of the Year and Brie Rojas was named Freshman of the Year, while Torina earned SBC Co-Coach of the Year distinction.
There were many highlights to the 2010 season, including FIU's thrilling 8-3 win over then-No. 4 and eventual Women's College World Series participant Florida, as the win marked FIU's first-ever victory over a top-five opponent. In addition, McClain set a new single-season record for RBI (56), while Barrett established an all-time single-season best 240 strikeouts en route to becoming just the second pitcher in Panther softball history to record 500 or more career strikeouts. A protégé of Torina's in the circle, Barrett graduated with 585 career K's to rank second all-time at FIU, accomplishing the feat in three seasons in a Panther uniform.
This past summer, Torina helped lead the USSSA Florida Pride to the franchise's first-ever National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) Championship, as she made her NPF debut as an assistant coach. The No. 2-seeded Pride, whose roster boasted seven Olympians, defeated regular season champion Chicago in three games to take home the title.
After inheriting a Panther program that finished the 2007 season with a record of 22-35, Torina led FIU to a 2008 record of 29-34 in her first year at the helm. The 2009 season saw the Panthers improve even more, finishing the season with a winning record of 31-29.
Torina combined experience with fresh talent in 2009, as upperclassmen and underclassmen both equally contributed to the program's first winning season in three years. Senior Jessica Landau earned her second-straight second-team All-SBC honor after leading the Panther offense with a batting average of .301, while classmate Kim Rodriguez led the squad in runs with 33 and hit .286 for the year.
Right behind the senior duo was the freshman twosome of McClain and Jenny Welch, as McClain recorded a batting average of .285 in her first collegiate season and Welch led FIU in RBIs (30) and tied with Rodriguez for the most home runs (five). On the mound, Barrett was FIU's top pitcher, notching team-bests of 18 wins and an ERA of 1.94.
In 2008, Torina was named SBC Coach of the Year after leading FIU to a fourth-place conference finish, in spite of FIU's predicted eighth-place finish prior to the start of the season. The Panthers shattered the previous school record for home runs of 32, hitting 74 homers out of the park, and also set offensive records in runs scored (305), RBI (270), total bases (815), slugging percentage (.482) and batting average (.286). In addition, the squad tied the single-season walks record with 167 and Rodriguez set a single-season record with 17 home runs while her 31 career homers rank tied for first with 2008 graduate Monique White. White's career batting average of .351 is the highest of all-time at FIU.
Five Panthers were named to the 2008 All-SBC Team, as Rodriguez was named to the first team and Landau and White were joined by Katie Bell and Amanda Cox on the second team.
Prior to her arrival at FIU, Torina spent six years at the University of Houston (2002-07), helping the Cougars to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and taking charge of a pitching unit that was statistically ranked as one of the best in the nation. In 2007, Houston not only won the Conference USA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years, but the pitching corps also ranked 15th in the nation in ERA (1.66) and 23rd in strikeouts per seven innings (7.31), en route to a 44-18 overall record.
While serving as the program's recruiting coordinator, Torina saw one of her most prized recruits, Angel Shamblin, go on to become a two-time C-USA Pitcher of the Year, an All-South Region pick and a 2008 All-America selection. In addition to Shamblin, Torina saw seven Cougar hurlers receive all-league accolades during her tenure.
Torina began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Stetson University from 2000-02, leaving her mark on the Hatters softball program after helping lead the 2001 squad to an Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Tri-Championship. Torina's pitchers set school records for wins (45), shutouts (20), strikeouts (385) and strikeouts per seven innings (6.70).
A four-year letterwinner at the University of Florida, Torina is still listed near the top of the Gator record book with 60 career wins and 716 career innings pitched. She was a member of Florida's 1998 Southeastern Conference Regular Season Championship team as the squad's top pitcher. Torina posted 20-win seasons in each of her last two years in a Gator uniform and was a two-time SEC Pitcher of the Week over her career.
Torina also excelled in the classroom at Florida, receiving numerous academic awards. She was an NFCA Scholar-Athlete (1997-2000), a member of the All-SEC Academic Team (1998-2000), a GTE Academic Third-Team All-American (2000), a and recipient of the SEC's H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award. Torina earned a bachelor's degree in health sciences in occupational therapy from UF in 2000.
Torina resides in Miramar, Fla., with her husband Nick.