Coach Yvette Girouard's excited for the new home.
Photo by: LSUsports.net, LSU Athletics Publications
As 'Journey' Ends, Next Era of LSU Softball Begins
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Published: February 10, 2009, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:37 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- The No. 21 LSU softball team completed final preparations for the opening of the new Tiger Park Tuesday with a full two-hour workout inside the new facility.

“It has been a long journey and tomorrow night is the culmination of a wild ride,” head coach Yvette Girouard said. “The park takes my breath away with how gorgeous it is. LSU hit a grand slam with this facility.”

The Tigers (3-2) enter the next chapter of its storied history Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. against McNeese State. Pitcher/outfielder Kirsten Shortridge, first baseman Anissa Young and shortstop Juliana Santos each hit over .350 last weekend at the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic in Hawai`i.

LSU also overcame a four-run deficit in the seventh inning of its final game against Hawai`i to win 6-5 in extra innings. The last time the Tigers accomplished that feat was at Georgia during the 2003 season.   

The Cowgirls (0-5) took Arizona State, the defending national champions, to extra innings in its season opener before falling to nationally ranked Stanford along with Oklahoma State, UC-Santa Barbara and Portland State at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe.

“Don’t be fooled by McNeese State’s record,” Girouard said. “They played some tough competition last weekend and had Arizona State on the ropes. Our hope for our team is that we just go out there, play ball and enjoy the moment.”

A full slate of festivities is on-tap for opening night (see full list below). The first 1,000 fans receive a commemorative mug at the gate as they enter. Many of LSU women’s teams will be located on the concourse starting at 5 p.m. for autographs above sections 201, 202, 206 and 207.

The pregame ceremonies include a ribbon cutting by Girouard in addition to speeches by Chancellor Mike Martin, Athletic Director Joe Alleva, former Athletic Director Skip Bertman and Girouard. A full fireworks display follows the game.

Live streaming video of the event along with a special edition of the LSU Sports Radio Network broadcast starting at 5:45 p.m. CT in the Geaux Zone. Click here for membership packages.

Girouard along with Shortridge and third baseman Jessica Mouse also met with the media Tuesday prior to practice on the fifth floor of the LSU Athletic Administration Building.

The session can be viewed for free in the Geaux Zone.

 

Tiger Park
Opening Night 2009
February 11

Schedule of Events
4:30 p.m. - Gates Open (First 1,000 fans receive a commemorative mug at the gate)
4:30 - 7:30 p.m. - Balloon Art, Caricatures, Face Painting on the concourse
5 - 5:40 p.m. - Autographs with LSU Women’s Teams in sections 201, 202, 206 & 207
5:45 p.m. - Pre-game Ceremonies begin:

  • Guest Speakers Include
    - Joe Alleva, LSU Athletics Director
    - Mike Martin, Chancellor
    - Yvette Girouard, Head Coach
    - Skip Bertman, Former LSU Athletics Director
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • National Anthem performed by former Tiger and current volunteer coach Kristen Hobbs
  • Ceremonial pitches thrown out by LSU Women’s Athletics Coaches
    D-D Breaux, Gymnastics
    Fran Flory, Volleyball
    Karen Bahnsen, Women’s Golf
    Brian Lee, Soccer
    Dennis Shaver, Track & Field
    Yvette Girouard, Softball
    Adam Schmitt, Women’s Swimming & Diving
    Allison Hightower, representing Van Chancellor, Women’s Basketball
    Tony Minnis, Women’s Tennis

6:07 p.m. First Pitch Begins

Postgame: Fireworks Display


LSU Softball Media Day Transcript
February 10, 2009

LSU Head Coach Yvette Girouard

Opening Statement
“We talked about how the schedule is so strong to start the season. Oklahoma is a top five team. Hawaii has been very good and we beat them twice on their home field in a dramatic comeback in extra innings. I liked what I saw there with the grit and determination of a young team. This weekend we bring in Texas A&M, who is No. 5 in the country and was the runner-up in the College World Series last year, and another big name in Ohio State and a very good Sam Houston State team. We’ve thrown these young pups to the wolves pretty early and it’s going to truly be baptism through fire. That’s what we saw. We were never really in the Oklahoma game. It was a great trip, and I was very pleased with how the youth of the team interacted. It was a great bonding trip, but what I was most proud of was how these young ladies were very appreciative of the trip [to Hawai`i]. It was a great recruiting tool to show our recruits that we do travel out of the southeast and we do recruit nationwide.”

On the Infield’s Youth
“We start a freshman catcher, first baseman, second baseman and shortstop. Our outfield is solidified with Kirsten Shortridge, who is an absolute gazelle out there [in center field]. People are going to really like watching her play. She’s a lead-off hitter that can steal a base at anytime and hit the ball out of the park. She hit the second pitch out of the park against Hawaii in the last game. [Shortstop] Juliana Santos, again, I think is going to be a crowd pleaser. We have Jessica Mouse at third base, who thankfully is anchoring the infield when we have so much youth there. Jessica also can play some catcher for us and is one of the captains. Offensively, I think we’re going to be very fun to watch. We have a good short game and some power in the middle . We have some kids who are very capable of producing.”

On Dani Hofer’s Heath and Whether to Redshirt Her
“I don’t know. We’re not at that [redshirt] stage yet. We’re getting second and third opinions. There’s a wrist problem and now there’s a back problem too. It’s very unfortunate because she’s the lone senior. She’s a First Team All-SEC performer and obviously we were counting on her tremendously. We’re all still praying and hoping she’s going to be O.K.; we’re just taking this week-to-week now.”

On the new Tiger Park
“You don’t have to show them plans anymore and you don’t have the in-state kids saying they don’t believe you. First impressions are everything and the first impression of this stadium will be, in the lingo of the kids, O.M.G.’ The stadium is gorgeous. There are stadiums in the country that are bigger, but there’s no question in my mind that this stadium has the most character. It’s the prettiest, the classiest and meets every need from fan to student-athlete. I think when people get in there tomorrow night that they will be blown away. They [the fans] are just going to be so proud of LSU. This is a crown jewel and we’ve waited a long time to make it happen. It absolutely hit a grand slam.”

ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25

February 10 Feb. 2-8

Rank

Team

Record

Pts

Pvs

1.

Alabama (12)

4-0

491

2

2.

Florida (8)

2-1

486

1

3

Oklahoma

4-1

428

6

4.

UCLA

3-1

416

4

5

Michigan

4-1

402

5

6

Arizona State

4-1

397

3

7.

Washington

5-0

378

15

8.

Stanford

4-1

362

9

9.

Cal

4-0

333

14

10.

Arizona

2-2

302

7

11.

Northwestern

2-2

299

11

12.

Tennessee

4-1

296

13

13.

Texas A&M

3-1

282

10

14.

Fresno State

3-1

225

12

15.

Houston

3-1

180

16

16.

DePaul

0-0

153

18

17.

Missouri

0-0

146

19

18.

UMass

4-1

143

24

19.

UL-Lafayette

1-2

135

8

20.

LSU

3-2

131

17

21.

Nevada

3-1

130

22

22.

Georgia

3-1

106

23

23.

Purdue

2-1

40

RV

24.

Long Beach St.

2-2

35

20

25.

Kansas

2-2

32

RV

Parenthesis Denotes first place votes.

Dropped Out: North Carolina and Virginia Tech

Others receiving votes: North Carolina (27), Ole Miss (23), Southern Illinois (17), South Florida (16), Oklahoma State (14), Baylor (9), Mississippi State (9), Notre Dame (9), Oregon State (7), BYU (6), Louisville (6), Nebraska (6), San Diego State (5), Florida State (5), Creighton (3), Florida Atlantic (3), Texas (3), Auburn (2) and Oregon (2).

USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll - Feb. 10

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Records through Feb. 8, 2009, are shown. First-place votes are in parentheses.

Rank

Team

Record

Pts

Pvs

1

Alabama (14)

4-0

703

3

2

Florida (11)

2-1

699

1

3

Arizona State (4)

5-1

662

2

4

UCLA (1)

3-1

592

4

5

Texas A&M

3-1

568

5

6

Michigan

4-1

550

8

7

Oklahoma

4-1

548

10

8

Stanford

4-1

495

11

9

California

4-0

430

17

10

Washington

5-0

422

21

11

Tennessee

4-1

414

12

12

Arizona

2-2

412

7

13

Northwestern

2-2

403

9

14

Houston

3-1

330

13

15

Fresno State

3-1

306

14

16

DePaul

0-0

298

15

17

Missouri

0-0

259

16

18

Nevada

3-1

220

23

19

UL-Lafayette

1-2

214

6

20

Georgia

3-1

205

22

21

LSU

3-2

145

19

22

UMass

4-1

81

NR

23

North Carolina

3-2

76

18

24

San Diego State

2-2

48

25

24

Southern Illinois

4-0

48

NR

Others receiving votes:
Mississippi State 47, Kansas 31, Long Beach State 30, Purdue 24, UC Santa Barbara 21, BYU 20, Virginia Tech 12, New Mexico State 11, Florida Atlantic 10, Notre Dame 9, South Florida 8, Oregon State 8, Louisville 8, Iowa 7, Hofstra 7, Creighton 6, Hawaii 5, Oklahoma State 4, Auburn 4, Baylor 4, Texas 3, Nebraska 2, Central Florida 2, Oregon 2, Georgia Tech 2

Dropped out:
No. 20 Virginia Tech, No. 24 Long Beach State

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