Garrett Aleckson —
Breaking records is a testament to an elite level of play and puts the record-breaking athletes in the history books. Being noticed for their elite play and going down in history as a great athlete is something many athletes dream about. However, University of Wisconsin–Stout softball pitcher, Tori Workman, (Sr, Prior Lake, Min.) never dreamed of breaking records.
“I just wanted to play,” said Workman.
Over the course of her softball career at UW–Stout, Workman set the record for most strikeouts in a single season last year, and set the record for most strikeouts in a career earlier this season. To say it was unexpected is an understatement.
“I would have never thought that I would have broken as many records as I have, or be as successful as I have,” said Workman. “I honestly did not even know if I would get one strikeout. My main goal was to play the game.”
It might be surprising that a record-breaking pitcher had to be convinced to stick with pitching, but that’s exactly what happened.
“When I was younger, one of our family friends was coaching with my dad. She just had me try pitching. I tried it, but I was not really into it at the time,” said Workman. “I didn’t like it at first. But she had me keep trying because she saw potential in me. It was not until I was around 12 when I really started working with it.”
Pitching didn’t come easy for her at first. It also wasn’t her favorite position right away.
“I just tried it, but I was not too good at pitching at the time,” said Workman. “At that age, we played a lot of different positions. So, I think I just liked moving around a lot.”
Workman kept working and met someone that would be a huge help to her for pitching. It meant that the potential she had would have a better chance to be realized.
“I was at a pitching camp when I was 11 and met my eventual pitching coach,” said Workman. “He saw potential in me, and impacted my pitching in a huge way.”
While her pitching coach helped her a lot, Workman has had a great support system back home.
“I’m really big on family. My parents and grandparents have really helped support me throughout life and my softball career. Having them in my life as a support system has been really wonderful,” said Workman.
Her family’s support and help from her pitching coach definitely worked. She saw great improvement in her first couple years at Stout.
“In my freshman year, I got some playing time. But my sophomore year was one of my best years of my career,” said Workman. “They told me that I broke the single season strikeout record, and I was shocked. I had no clue that I was near the record.”
Saying goodbye to anything that has been in your life for so long is always hard. For Workman, saying goodbye to softball will be no different.
“Closing this chapter of my life is going to be really hard—especially because I started playing really competitive softball when I was 10. But, it’s a part of growing up,” said Workman. “You don’t really understand how fast your four years of eligibility goes. I don’t know how I could have gone to college without playing softball because it has just been a huge part of my life.”