OKLAHOMA CITY — The traveling circus that is the LSU softball dugout now has an aquatics wing.
The Tigers began play in the Women’s College Series on Thursday and their dugout was replete with the distinctive hats and masks that have become a signature element of this team’s record-setting season.
Now, meet “Juanita the Rallyfish,” who was introduced to a national television audience during LSU’s 6-1 victory against Auburn at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Shortstop Bianka Bell, who got the fireworks started with a first-inning home run, set the tone for the WCWS by adopting Juanita, who’s a GloFish, and naming her in honor the team’s motto — “The Power of One.” Now it’s “The Power of Juan-ita.” Get it?
Coach Beth Torina sent the team to Walmart on Wednesday night to pick up snacks and toiletries for what the Tigers hope will be a week long-plus stay at the WCWS.
But Bell and freshman pitcher Allie Walljasper made an impromptu addition to the shopping list.
“(Torina) was like just go get snacks and Allie and I just got a fish instead,” Bell said during the postgame news conference.
Torina quickly added, “I was not on this trip. I was at the administrative meeting, just for the record.”
As goes a pet, or mascot, or whatever she technically is, Juanita is relatively low maintenance. Still, the team had to provide for her.
“We got her a (fish tank) and some pebbles and some nice plants to swim through,” catcher Kellsi Kloss said, “so she’s well taken care of.”
Bell said she Googled GloFish and learned from Wikipedia that they only need to be fed once a month.
“Wikipedia is promising,” Bell said, “so I hope she’ll live through the week.”
Juanita got her own Twitter account (@lsuJuanita) and as of Thursday night she had more than 500 followers.