OKLAHOMA CITY — Friday was the LSU softball team’s fourth day at the Women’s College World Series, and the Tigers were getting antsy to finally play a ball game.
Their opening game against Michigan was rained out Thursday night, and the team hit for about an hour in some indoor batting cages Friday morning in preparation for their game, which began at about 8:50 p.m. Friday.
“Of course we’re all real excited and anxious to play,” catcher Kellsi Kloss said after practice, “but I remember something that (Alabama) coach Patrick Murphy said last year: “There’s no such thing as a bad day at the world series.”
“So even though it rained yesterday and we couldn’t play, we got a chance to really bond as a team and spend a lot of quality time together last night. We had a lot of fun, and we’re super excited to play today.”
The Tigers and Wolverines were scheduled to play after Alabama and Oklahoma, who were preparing to start the bottom of the second inning of a scoreless game when play was stopped Thursday.
The four teams hung around their locker rooms for about 2½ hours while rain pelted ASA Hall of Fame Stadium until play was officially called off for the night.
“Last night was one of the best moments I’ve seen them have,” coach Beth Torina said. “They were all together, playing games, laughing, joking, having a great time. It’s really one of the best bonding times I’ve seen them have all season long.
“It was fun to watch them enjoy it. I jumped in and played the games with them, too. We were all having a great time in the locker room.”
LSU was having so much fun that it wound up being the last of the four teams to leave the stadium.
Then Torina and her staff went back to work, trying to find ways to improve their game plan for the second-seeded Wolverines.
“We’re going to use every minute of extra time to our benefit,” Torina said. “We’re continuing to study, continuing to prepare.
“We keep searching, seeing if we can find anything else in (the game plan), seeing if there’s anything else we can use in our favor. The more time we have to look over it, the better we should be.”
The Tigers searched high and low for a field to get on for practice, but there wasn’t a dry one to be found in Oklahoma City, though the rain had abated and didn’t seem to be much of a threat to Friday’s games.
“I wish we could have been on dirt, but I don’t think anybody in town is getting on dirt,” Torina said. “We searched and searched to try and find a field to try and get on this morning, because it’s been a couple of days.
“We’re doing the best we can in this situation, and that’s all we can do.”
LSU had a brief workout on a damp field Wednesday, but hasn’t had a full workout since its last one at Tiger Park before flying to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
The LSU-Michigan winner will play the Alabama-Oklahoma winner at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The losers in Friday night’s games will play in an elimination game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
“While we’re preparing for one opponent, I think we’re also rounding ourselves out nicely in preparing for all possible opponents here,” Kloss said. “We’re still going to get all the games in, so no matter when we play, we’re going to be ready.”
Kloss said she was encouraged by how loose the Tigers were as they waited out the rain Thursday night.
“You can ask anyone on our staff, especially (Torina), and they’ll tell you that we play best when we’re loose,” Kloss said. “If we had wound up playing last night, we were totally ready to do it, because we were super loose and relaxed. It was nice to just kick back and enjoy time with each other.”
Kloss is one of five seniors whose LSU careers will end some time in the next week at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. She said the final chapter of her career started in grand style Thursday — even without ever taking the field.
“Everyone was just laughing and smiling, and I just thought to myself, ‘Wow, I’m just so thankful to be a part of this team,’ ” Kloss said. “If this is how I’m spending my last week at LSU, then this is exactly how I want it to be.”
Follow Les East on Twitter, @EastAdvocate.