Friday, June 02, 2006

WCWS, Day 1.


I tracked the score of the first game, Oregon State vs Arizona, mostly to know when the Texas game would start. The score stopped in the 5th, and then I found out there was a weather delay. "Crap" I think to myself.

Background: Texas got burned by weather last year when they had to play 3 games in about 20 hours to make up for some rain delays.

Digression: Now, Texas is a lot like last year's Twins: all pitching, little offense. Only, Johan Santana can pitch just about every game, and strikes out about 60-70% of batters. I think I read that Texas has a low defensive metric, probably as the fielders aren't used to seeing the ball in live game situations. /Digression.

I don't remember how the Longhorns got to the loser's bracket, but in their semifinal matchup, as Cat had already pitched like 19 innings since 7:00 pm on Saturday, the 3:00 Sunday game had the Longhorns start their other pitcher, Meagan Denny, who is not bad, but probably not in the top 25. Three runs and two outs later, Cat relieves with a perfect 5.1 innings and something like 13 K, but the Longhorns batters were shut out. /Background.

Therefore, I want every game to be played on the right day this time through. I don't think any of the other teams are as dependent on their one ace to win games as Texas is, and so any thing that would require bunching games together later in the weekend is bad. Luckily, the game is only delayed about 100 minutes. OSU comes back to tie it in the 6th, but Arizona wins 3-2 in the 9th. With the delay and the extra innings, Texas doesn't start its game against Arizona State until about 4:30 -- I'll be able to watch some of it!

Cat pitched a near-perfect game, 22 batters, 21 outs, 18 K, 1 H, 0 BB. In the 5th, already up 1-0, Texas Shortstop Desiree Williams hit the ball right off the foul pole, and had to be told it was a homerun. 2-0 was the final score. If Texas can score 2 runs in each game and stay at one game a day, they just might make it to the finals. Again, all pitch, no hit. They play Arizona at 6:00 tonight.

Between the Spelling Bee, I watched parts of the first night game, Alabama vs Northwestern. Good game. A Wildcat hit a 7th-inning-2-out solo homerun to tie the game at the last moment. They won in 10, but I missed it.

After that, Tennessee and UCLA started at 11:20. I caught a little of the beginning be vowed to not fall asleep on the couch and left when UCLA had a 2-0 lead in the 3rd or fourth. Apparently, Tennesse won with a 3-run 6th. I like Tennessee, too, their pitcher, Monica Abbott looks to be about 6'6 and her pitching motion starts with her bent over with her head at her knees like Mike Mussina. She's only a junior, so maybe she's my softballer to watch for next year.

Yay! UCLA lost!

It would be cool to see Tennesse and Texas go at it in a national championship. White and Orange "T" vs White and Burnt Orange "T". Loser should have to use different colors and blank caps for the next year.

Oh, and Cat Osterman was awarded her third semi-consecutive National Player of the Year award. No other player has 2. I say semi-consecutive, because she did not play in 2004, instead going to the Olympics. Texas has been to the WCWS Cat's last 3 years on the team and did not make the tournament in her year on the olympic team.

No loser's bracket games today, and no winners brackets games tomorrow (stay in the winners bracket 'Horns!). Four teams go home on Saturday, 2 on Sunday. Hope the weather stays nice.

4 Comments:

Blogger frightwig said...

That picture is wicked-awesome.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous bjhess said...

It almost looks like she's cheating. She's quite a ways off the rubber before delivering the pitch. Though I can't fully remember fastpitch rules - does she simply have to release before leaving the pitcher's circle?

10:47 AM  
Blogger amr said...

I have no idea. One of the pitchers (not Cat) got tagged on an illegal pitch last night when I wasn't looking, so I assume she's legal. I'd guess you have to start on the rubber, like baseball, but then come off it in your motion. Lots of pitchers kindof step on the line.

12:01 PM  
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