OKLAHOMA CITY — The LSU softball team has become well known for its liberal use of costumes, hats and other props in the dugout during games.
But at this year’s Women’s College World Series, fans watching in the stands and on ESPN will see a noticeably different LSU dugout. The NCAA began cracking down on such antics during the regional round.
Tenth-seeded LSU opens Women’s College World Series play Thursday night against No. 2 seed Michigan.
After arriving in Oklahoma City for last year’s WCWS, LSU players bought a goldfish, named it “Juanita” and kept it in the dugout during all of their games. Juanita even had a Twitter account.
“I feel like we kind of get the finger pointed to us a lot in the dugout prop scenario,” said LSU coach Beth Torina.
“It’s really about the culture of Louisiana. It’s not something we’d ever do to make a joke of the game of softball. Our kids are just enthusiastic.”
Torina added that she could not “confirm or deny the fish is on this trip.” Heck, Torina didn’t even know — initially, anyway — about Juanita’s presence in the dugout last year.
“All I can say is that there may or may not be a fish in this dugout,” Torina said.
LSU enters the WCWS with a 50-16 record and advanced after upsetting James Madison in the Super Regional round last weekend.
The Tigers are playing in their fifth-ever Women’s College World Series and their third in the last five years.