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Student Writer Spotlight: LSU Reveille’s Ava Hebert

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In an effort to highlight the work of student journalists and grow the coverage of the sport, D1Softball will periodically be featuring stories they have written throughout the 2024 season.

The stories will be free to read and links to their publication and social media accounts will be provided so readers can continue to support their coverage as much as possible. Student journalists juggle their reporting and game coverage with their own academic demands.

Today’s featured writer is Ava Hebert (@avahebe4) from the LSU Reveille (@lsureveille). Hebert provides a story on the relationship between LSU sophomores Maci Bergeron and Abigail Savoy.

By Ava Hebert

College sports teams are made up of a multitude of athletes. People of different backgrounds, coming from different high schools, states and even countries.

LSU’s softball team is similar to this with one exception. 

Sophomores Maci Bergeron and Abigail Savoy knew each other long before stepping onto LSU’s campus.

These Crowley, Louisiana, natives grew up playing the game together. Their journey started at 7 years old, when the pair played on the same softball team. 

Their relationship grew stronger when they attended Notre Dame High School together. During their time in high school, Bergeron and Savoy were a part of three state championship teams; the fourth year was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Their path to greatness began earlier than most. Their freshman year high school team was undefeated state champions. At this time, Bergeron claimed her first all-state title.

“Maci works extremely hard,” Notre Dame High head coach Dale Serie said. “Even outside of practice and outside of the game.”

Savoy finished her high school career with an equally strong resume. She led the nation in runs battled in her senior year and led the Pioneers in batting average (.566), hits (56) and doubles (13).

On Nov. 11, 2021, when Bergeron and Savoy signed to officially become Tigers, they were sitting right beside each other. 

After graduating high school, they traveled to Baton Rouge, where the two became not only teammates, but also safety nets for each other.

Bergeron and Savoy’s private high school had a total enrollment of 402 students in grades nine through 12. Transitioning from their small-school setting to LSU’s freshman class of 7,367 proved to be more difficult than they had previously anticipated. 

“It’s hard coming to college, and we had each other to rely on,” Bergeron said. “That made it so much easier being a freshman over here in such a big-school setting.”

Savoy agreed that having Bergeron at her side throughout her freshman year helped Baton Rouge feel more like home.

“To have that constant is really reassuring in a transition like this one,” Savoy said. “Especially when so many other things are changing.”

Since joining head coach Beth Torina in 2022, their roles have looked a little different. 

Bergeron claimed her starting spot in the lineup as a freshman after graduate student Hannah Carson tore her ACL early in the season.

“It was a little overwhelming at first,” Bergeron said. “My coaches and my teammates helped me persevere through it.”

However, as the season went on, Bergeron’s inexperience showed when playing more difficult teams.

While taking a break from the field, Bergeron had to find other forms of motivation and remind herself of the reasons she started to play in the first place.

“You’re not always going to get the outcomes that you want. I realized last year that no matter what, I still have great friends and great teammates,” Bergeron said. “You just have to find the little things that are good when things aren’t going your way.”

Her new mindset led her back to the field. In Bergeron’s first NCAA Regional as a Tiger, she hit her first career home run against Prairie View.

While Bergeron was on the field, Savoy was her No. 1 fan in the dugout.

Although she hasn’t seen the field a lot, Savoy makes the most of her time at LSU. She is the voice of the Tigers, leading every cheer and chant coming from the dugout.

“They call her the dugout captain,” Torina said. “She’s always consistent, always provides energy, she leads the dugout.”

Savoy embraces this role and constantly pushes her teammates to be better versions of themselves.

“Being on the bench… you can take it one of two ways. You can sulk about it, or you can have fun,” Savoy said. “I choose to enjoy it every day when I come to the ballpark… Why would I not want to just make it better in the ways that I can?”

But this isn’t a new aspect of Savoy’s character. Even in her earlier high school years, she was a leader.

“Abigail’s always been a leader for us,” Serie said. “She’s a true testament of what you would want a softball player to be, even what you’d want your kid to be.”

The rest of LSU’s roster relies on Savoy’s energy at all times, whether in a crucial game or just at practice.

“She’s constantly cheering, making sure our energy is up throughout the entire game,” Bergeron said. “She’s always been that way. It’s one of my favorite things about her.”

But while she was cheering on her teammates, Savoy was continuing to put in work as well. She practiced hard over the summer and in the fall in hopes to see the field in her sophomore year.

And it paid off.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, Savoy got her first career hit as a Tiger, a two-run home run over the left field fence.

The team met her at home plate, Bergeron included, screaming at the top of their lungs.

“When somebody like that has success for your team, it’s really, really easy to get behind them,” Torina said. “That was a cool moment for our team… definitely a highlight.” 

Bergeron and Savoy have been there at each other’s highs and lows. Their long-lasting relationship allowed them to set high standards for both each other and themselves.

“You always have someone who will hold you accountable,” Savoy said. “And you know it’s coming from a place of love.”

Their journey is far from over. 

Savoy and Bergeron no longer consider themselves friends, they think of each other as family. 

“I can talk to Maci about anything, and she knows what I’ve been through,” Savoy said. “We’re less friends, more sisters.”

A link to the original story can be found here

Photo credit: Matthew Perschall

Rhiannon Potkey can be reached at [email protected] (@rpotkey)