Lauren Esman, a transfer left-handed pitcher and utility player from the University of Michigan and recent Alabama commit, has been named the 2022 Pitcher of the Year in the Florida Gulf Coast Softball League. FGCL is a summer softball league for collegiate athletes looking to stay sharp and refine their craft during the off-season.

Esman is a fantastic get for the Crimson Tide, who desperately needed to provide Montana Fouts with some good relief in the circle after losing Lexi Kilfoyl to the transfer portal. She will join Alex Salter and Jaala Torrence in supporting Fouts' pitching efforts. She arrives in Tuscaloosa with two years of eligibility left since her freshman season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Esman appeared in 103 games in her time in Ann Arbor and started 80 of them. She delivered 64 hits and 35 runs, along with 34 runs batted in with a .332 on-base percentage. Amazingly enough, she only ever pitched two innings in Michigan. Those came during her freshman campaign in 2020. Primarily, she played at first base.

During her time in the FGCL this summer, she has pitched 24.2 innings and recorded 34 strikeouts with a 1.70 ERA. She is 6-0 in the circle.

Whether her pitching skills will translate from summer league to SEC play remains to be seen. It's also unclear how much time she will spend in the circle as opposed to first base. Regardless of how she is used, it seems that Murph pulled a heck of a player from the transfer portal to help Team 27 make up for losing six to it at the conclusion of the season.

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