BATON ROUGE — The No. 19 LSU softball team sent senior pitcher Dani Hofer out in-style recording a 4-0 victory over South Carolina Sunday in the final regular season game of the inaugural campaign of the new Tiger Park.
“Dani has meant so much to this program,” head coach Yvette Girouard said. “When you read the accomplishments of this young woman, it really makes us realize what we have lost. She didn’t get to finish her career, but she will be someone we remember for a long time.”
Hofer earned the start and painted the outside corner with a called strike before exiting a standing ovation.
“It was great,” Hofer said. “This was the first time I have stepped onto the field the entire season. I wish I could have stayed on the mound the entire game. It was wonderful to see the support of all the fans, my teammates and my family. It has been an incredible honor to be a part of this team for four years.”
LSU (30-14-1, 13-9-1 SEC) broke open scoreless game with three runs in the fourth inning. Jazz Jackson dropped a bunt single and Juliana Santos cranked a RBI-triple to right field to give the Tigers a 1-0 edge.
Rachel Mitchell drew a one-out walk and Santos came around to score on an Ashley Applegate RBI-groundout to make it 2-0. On the first pitch, Anissa Young capped the frame squirting a RBI-single up-the-middle to push the LSU advantage to 3-0.
Kirsten Shortridge along with Jackson and Santos tacked on a trio of two-out singles in the fifth inning for the final margin of 4-0. The top three Tiger hitters combined for a 7-for-9 day at the plate.
Cody Trahan surrendered only a leadoff single in the first inning and registered five strikeouts to improve to 9-5 in the circle.
“I felt like the first batter was Dani’s batter the whole year,” Trahan said. “I was disappointed I couldn’t get her out. Dani has battled with so many things this year. I was so proud of her and the strike she earned the first pitch of the game.”
LSU finished the regular season with a weekend series at Auburn. Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single-game are slated for 1 p.m. and all three games of the series will be carried live on The X 104.5/104.9 FM with Patrick Wright and Kent Lowe calling all of the action. Live stats also will be available on LSUSports.net.