With 22 home runs in only two years at UCSB, senior first baseman Lindsey Herrin is kind of a big deal.
Recruited by Iowa State to pitch, the Coalinga, Calif. native threw just 29 innings compiling a 3.62 ERA before moving to first base for the Cyclones. In Herrin’s 44 starts in 2002, Iowa State went 19-25 overall and 6-12 in conference, hitting .318 and setting the single season home run record with 11.
The Midwest was a far cry from Herrin’s home in the Central Valley where her family attended every game. After her freshman year, Herrin decided to transfer closer to home. With stats that impressed UCSB Head Coach Kristy Schroeder and permission to leave Iowa State, Herrin came to UCSB in time for the 2004 season. Despite arriving partway into the practice season, she fit right in with her new teammates.
“It wasn’t a problem for her because she’s such an easy person to get along with and she molded really quickly with the team. Even coming in as a transfer, she didn’t have a problem taking control,” UCSB sophomore pitcher Jenn Davis said. “She leads everyone as captain and that’s what she came here for -to take that spot and really pump everyone up and get everyone excited to play.”
In her first season at UCSB, Herrin, hitting .256, set Santa Barbara’s single season home run record with 10 four-baggers. Early on in the season she saw most of her playing time at first base and as designated player but made an easy transition to the pitching circle. A straight fastball thrower, Herrin got her first win as a Gaucho halfway through the season with an 8-1 victory over Portland State.
“It worked out that I could throw hard and if I jammed them then they couldn’t get their hands out. I didn’t get very many strikeouts but I was able to get them to ground out,” Herrin said.
As part of the starting pitcher rotation of Davis and then-freshman Lindsey Sommer, Herrin went on to start seven games, finishing 7-2 with a team low 2.75 ERA in 84 innings. Instead of relying on the movement that most collegiate pitchers boast, Herrin throws straight heat. An injury has limited Herrin to just 35 innings of work this season.
“I’m a really energetic pitcher and I think that that helped out the team when I was pitching because I brought energy to the infield,” Herrin said. “I don’t really miss it when our pitchers are doing really well but it bothers me that when our pitchers aren’t doing well and I can’t help.”
Herrin is a standout at the plate again this year, notching 12 home runs thus far. Her 22 career jacks puts her just two shy of breaking the career record of 23 currently held by 2000 graduate Tonya Dias. Always looking for the low pitch, Herrin has already matched her 35 RBIs of last season, fourth on the all-time list. With six regular season games remaining, Herrin is in position to move up on the list.
In the dugout and on the dirt, Herrin has earned the respect of her fellow Gauchos with her energy, leadership and talent.
“Her athletic ability is really good-she’s the biggest hitter on the team and a big asset and first base and she really came through in pitching last year,” Davis said. “Beyond that she’s the most energetic and motivating person on the team and it’s going to be a lot different without her next year.”
Herrin, the only Gaucho to play summer ball, plans on playing internationally this summer in Canada before heading off to Fresno State to finish her degree before entering chiropractic school. Despite her short tenure with UCSB softball, Herrin has made an impression that any four-year player would be proud of.
“She’s a real positive influence because she loves to be out there. She really loves the game and that’s an inspiration to everyone on the team,” Schroeder said. “She leads by example on the field. She works hard at practice and she wants to win the game. She’s always smiling, having a good time and just really loving being our there,” Schroeder said. “She wants to be there and it’s fun to coach someone like that.”