By Brandon Alter | Photo courtesy of SC Athletics
South Carolina retired its first jersey in program history Saturday when it honored Trinity Johnson (1995-97) prior to Game 2 of its three-game series against No. 4 Alabama.
The ceremony highlighted Alumni Weekend when over 45 players returned to Columbia.
Johnson won National Player of the Year in 1997. That season, she threw three perfect games and recorded 24 shutouts, 12 in a row from March 9 – April 5 as the Gamecocks advanced to the Women’s College World Series for the third time in program history.
Johnson finished her career as a three-time All American with 1,032 strikeouts. The 2004 South Carolina Hall of Fame inductee appears 193 times in the Gamecock record book.
“I think it’s great that we have Alabama this weekend with our alumni in town. We have over 45 alumni returning to Columbia, recognizing one of our greats in Trinity Johnson,” South Carolina head coach Beverly Smith told Spurs & Feathers. “When you see her stats it’s really jaw dropping. … It’s wonderful to bring her back and recognize her accomplishments.”
Johnson said she found out that her jersey was going to be retired in February while driving to work. She said she didn’t pull over when she got the call but when she got to work she took a moment to digest the news in her car.
“It was a complete shock,” she said. “It took me a minute to absorb, because I am the first one. It’s so hard to describe. I just keep using the words, ‘I feel honored.’”
Athletics Director Ray Tanner was in his first baseball season at South Carolina when Johnson was dominating in 1997. Tanner said Johnson’s dominance was one of his first memories at the university. He doesn’t think his baseball team could have gotten a hit off of her.
Johnson is the first of four jerseys to be retired by SC Athletics this spring. The others are track & field stars Terrance Trammell and Miki Barber and baseball pitcher Earl Bass, who will have his jersey retired posthumously.