Rousseau pitching well in first year at WKU

Hasani Grayson

WKU is out-pitching opponents this season in almost every major statistical category.

One of the main reasons for the team’s pitching success has been the emergence of sophomore right-hander Emily Rousseau.

The Greenwood, La., native transferred to WKU for her sophomore year from Northwest Florida State College, saying head coach Tyra Perry made her feel good about the direction of the program.

“From talking to Coach Perry and hearing about the program and hearing so many good things about her… it felt like the right fit for me,” she said. “So far it’s working out.”

Though Rousseau said she feels comfortable with her decision to transfer to WKU, she said that her family not being able to see her pitch too often is a drawback. Her father is in the military and Rousseau moved around a lot growing up.

Her parents both reside in Shreveport, La., but will move to Hawaii in July.

“It’s really far away so they won’t get to see me play as much,” she said. “But they’re doing what they can now.”

With her parents in Louisiana and other members of her family living in Alabama, she often only pitches with family members in attendance on road trips.

“My mom and my dad and my sister were all at (Lousiana-Monroe) when we played,” she said. “I have family in Alabama that come and watch, so I’m going to have people here — just not my parents.”

To go along with the struggles of not being able to play in front of her family on a regular basis, Rousseau said she has experienced some ups and downs during the season.

Rousseau has a record of 13-13 with a 2.69 ERA and an opposing batting average against of .244.

Junior catcher Karavin Dew has been behind the plate for most of her performances and said that when Rousseau is having a good day in the circle, it can be a long day for opposing batters.

“She works her stuff, and when she’s on, it’s looking very good,” she said.

Dew also said the movement on Rousseau’s curveball probably makes it her best pitch.

In addition to the movement she gets on her breaking pitches, Perry said that her speed and control also make her difficult to hit.

“She throws pretty hard, and when she moves the ball, it’s hard to hit,” she said.

Rousseau said that she has days where she has to work to find her most effective pitch if her curve isn’t working.

But no matter what pitch she feels comfortable with, Rousseau said she tries to take an aggressive attitude on the field with her.

“It’s going right after them after the first pitch — not laying back whenever they start hitting,” she said. “It’s going at them, trying to get on top of the count and not pitching scared.”

Not pitching scared will be key as the Lady Toppers finish off the regular season and look forward toward the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, which starts May 9.

Rousseau said she’s feeling all of her pitches and hasn’t been working on making any major changes to her mechanics as the regular season winds down.

With the way WKU performed in close games against No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend, Rousseau said she likes the Lady Toppers’ postseason chances.

“We have as good a chance as anyone does to make it,” she said. “It’s just about going in and playing hard when you get there, and I think we’re ready to do that.”