LSU softball coach Beth Torina calls senior shortstop Amber Serrett "the brains of the operation."
The Spring, Texas native has been a mainstay in LSU's infield since her freshman season and prides herself on her defensive abilities.
"It's definitely my favorite part of the game," Serrett said. "For me, it's like a chess match — thinking about what the other team is going to do in the situation and try to be one step ahead of them."
Serrett is third among active DI players in games played at 250 but didn't begin starting at shortstop until about 20 games into her freshman season. She saw action in nine games in left field and four as the designated player before making the move to shortstop.
"Bianka Bell was a first-team All-American at shortstop her junior year and this freshman from Texas came in and moved her to third base," Torina said. "That's why I remember it so well, because it stands out.
"She was so good that she was able to push a first-team All-American to a different position. That's pretty impressive. And one of the best players we've every had here — Bianka Bell."
Serrett immediately became integral to the success of the Tigers on both sides of the field.
While she has constantly commanded the defense, she has been a solid contributor at the plate with with career batting average of .263 and 17 home runs.
"She makes us feel confident and we're better for her," Torina said. "She's the brains and keeps us going."
"But she's a good hitter and I like to remind her of that. There were points in her career where she thought she was a defensive shortstop. It's nice to see her live up to that potential."
Serrett admits to being nervous during those first few starts her freshman season, but her confidence came with being on the field and learning from those like Bell and former All-American infielder Sahvanna Jaquish.
Since her freshman year, Serrett has grown to be more vocal on the field, and she's developed a relationship with Torina where they both know what makes the other work. That relationship has allowed Serrett to thrive as the leader of the infield.
"It's going to be tough to think about running the program without her," Torina said. "She's really the brains of the organization. We've taken a lot of things for granted the last couple of years. She sets the defense and moves them. We're going to have to teach somebody her ways. It's been a fun ride with her and I think she's done a great job."
Serrett has built that communication with her teammates in order to run the defense, and it's why Torina believes Serrett is someone that her teammate can all trust and rely on.
Even graduate transfer third baseman Amanda Sanchez credits Serrett for her seamless transition to the team.
As a graduate, it can be difficult to vibe with a new team for just one season, but Sanchez and Serrett, along with the rest of the infield, had immediate chemistry.
"I've always respected Amber and her game," Sanchez said. "I've gotten the chance to play against her and I've watched her throughout these four years of her career and she's been a staple there at shortstop.
"She's a leader on and off the field. Having her on the left side next to me made me more comfortable there because I know she has my back and we've been working well together. It's been a blessing to be her teammate."
Serrett will play her final game in Tiger Park on Sunday against Alabama — the same team she faced in her first SEC start her freshman season.
But instead of being wide eyed and nervous like she was four years ago, Serrett is going into Tiger Park with confidence to enjoy her final games as a Tigers.
"I definitely try not to think about it because it is a bittersweet moment," Serrett said. "I think all of us want to think about the task at hand.
"Just to have fun playing the game that you love. Don't over complicate things."