Raw Talent Brought Icess Tresvik To Auburn
Icess Tresvik didn’t think she was ready to play in the SEC, and especially not at Auburn.
She had just led Hoggard High School to the Class 4A State Championship and had a bevy of offers in front of her. Tresvik held a 0.84 ERA and a 20-1 record in the circle as well as a .556 batting average with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs. Standing as the reigning Coastal Preps Softball Player of the Year, she chose North Carolina A&T despite schools like North Carolina, NC State and the Tigers vying for her commitment.
The then–North Carolina A&T coach Patti Raduenz, who is in the Michigan State Hall of Fame, as well as a combination of financial security and softball opportunities, led to her choosing the Aggies. But after her freshman year with NC A&T in 2022, during which she led the team with a .323 batting average and 40 hits through 44 games, Tresvik wanted a change of scenery. She’d lived in North Carolina her entire life and wanted to experience a different environment. Being in the same state your entire life, Tresvik said, gets boring.
So she entered the transfer portal in the offseason, and the first person who gave her a call was Auburn head coach Mickey Dean. He expressed to Tresvik that he loved the way she played, especially in the circle. Tresvik is a raw pitching talent, and Dean felt like he could mold Tresvik into an impactful pitcher for his program. She’s a hard thrower, with her fastball topping out at 72 mph, and her athleticism has helped her develop a circle-change that, when thrown effectively, curves and drops at the same time.
“I'm skinny, but I throw hard and my pitches do move a lot,” Tresvik said. “They break a lot, and he just was very intrigued about (me).”
Dean was pretty familiar with Tresvik when he called her, however. He’d seen Tresvik in high school at a softball camp, and the Tigers had faced the Aggies twice last season. Tresvik and her father, Erik, made the eight-hour drive from North Carolina to Auburn’s campus for a softball camp during her sophomore year of high school. At the indoor football practice field, Tresvik and the rest of the attendees worked on hitting and defensive drills. She didn’t participate in pitching drills at the camp, though she was getting back into pitching following a hiatus that began in seventh grade.
Tresvik only worked in the outfield, and after the camp, Dean told her to work on throwing ahead of the runner—she struggled with hitting the correct cutoff. So, it was a surprise for Dean when he noticed Tresvik’s name on the lineup card ahead of their March 4 matchup with the Aggies. For Tresvik, she was shocked. She was about to face the team she’d practiced with three years prior, traveled across three states to get to the coach she’d known since her days before A&T.
“Oh my god, we're about to play Auburn,” Tresvik thought when her head coach tapped her as the starting pitcher. “This is crazy. A lot of adrenaline and nerves kind of kicked in.”
Makayla Packer led off. Tresvik said she was so nervous in the circle that she walked Packer. She ended up calming down enough to get into a groove and toss four innings, giving up four earned runs, while striking out three batters. NC A&T didn’t put up a single run. She pitched the second game, but Auburn had caught up to her tendencies and hung three earned runs on Tresvik across 1.3 innings. However, the utility player blasted a two-run home run, which was the Aggies’ only offense of the afternoon.
Dean found Tresvik’s pitching interesting, noting that he saw a lot of potential in her as a pitcher even before she entered the transfer portal. He also liked that when Tresvik got pulled from pitching, she’d go right to patrolling the outfield for the remainder of the game.
Now, at Auburn, she’s already seen drastic improvements in her swing and in the circle in fall ball. She’s transforming from the raw, athletic player that committed to NC A&T out of high school, into a legitimate dual-threat option for a loaded Tigers team hoping to make waves in the SEC this spring.
“I'm ready for the SEC now because I can honestly see a big difference in my game,” Tresvik said. “I've only been here for three months, and I can noticeably see a difference in my swing, pitching, muscle mass and everything.”