Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chamberlain Ties All-Time Home-Run Record

As just seen on regional Fox Sports television, Oklahoma's Lauren Chamberlain has just drilled a Baylor pitch to straightaway center, over the fence, to tie UCLA great Stacey Nuveman for the all-time NCAA Division I home-run record at 90. Click here for the Twitter tweet from the official OU softball feed.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Roll Tide/War Eagle in Softball

The series I'm most looking forward to this weekend features Auburn hosting Alabama tonight (7:30 Central), Saturday (5:00), and Sunday (1:00). Auburn is ranked No. 6 and Alabama No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, whereas the positions are reversed in the USA Today/NFCA poll.

Whereas Alabama has already achieved elite national status, winning the 2012 NCAA title and making the 2014 final round, Auburn is trying to reach a similar tier. That effort was given a big boost when, after the 2013 season, Auburn hired Clint Myers away from Arizona State, where had led the Sun Devils to two NCAA titles (article).
 
Former Auburn coach Tina Deese had a strong record of getting to the NCAA tournament, doing so eight of the last 10 years before she was fired two years ago. Auburn has never made it to the Women's College World Series or a super-regional, however. In 2014, with Myers in his first season at the Auburn helm, the Tigers nearly reached their first super-regional.

This year's Tiger squad fared well in the Judi Garman Classic during the non-conference part of their schedule and are 12-3 thus far in the SEC, having lost one game each in series vs. Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. However, Auburn has not yet played the toughest part of its schedule. The going will be a lot tougher from here on out, with the Alabama series this weekend, and a series at No. 3 LSU May 1-3. Auburn and Florida don't meet each other in regular-season SEC play this year.

This weekend's series should tell us whether Auburn is finally ready for prime time!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Top Teams Holding Own, But Not Sweeping

A trend that I noted a week ago has continued into this weekend. Many top teams are taking two of three from conference opponents, but haven't been able to sweep. In the following series completed today, brooms were nowhere to be found:
  • No. 1 Oregon routed UCLA in Westwood to take the series, after dropping the opener. The Ducks needed a dramatic comeback on Saturday to avoid losing the series.
  • No. 4 Michigan, whose pitching had been shaky last week vs. Iowa and in Friday's series-opener at Minnesota, shut down the Gophers 9-4 Saturday and 9-1 today, to take two of three.
  • No. 5/6 Alabama got a two-out, bases-loaded single in the top of the sixth to beat Kentucky, 2-0, and win the rubber game of the teams' series.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tough Weekend for Top Teams

Things haven't gone very well this weekend for the nation's elite teams.

No. 1 LSU dropped two of three at Kentucky, avoiding a sweep with a 2-0 victory today.

Other top teams won the first two games against their respective unranked opponents, but were unable to complete sweeps.

One "broom-free" zone was Starkville, Mississippi, where No. 3/2 Florida sought to make it three straight over Mississippi State. However, the Gators today gave up a five-spot to the Bulldogs in the bottom of the seventh, to drop the game 5-3.

As shown earlier today on the Big Ten Network, No. 4 Michigan failed in its bid for a three-game sweep over Iowa. Amidst light Ann Arbor snow flurries, the Wolverines squandered a 4-0 lead by allowing the Hawkeyes three runs in the sixth (including two homers) and three in the seventh, for a 6-4 final.

Meanwhile, No. 2/3 Oregon has defeated is currently hosting Washington in the deciding game of the teams' three-game series.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday Conclusion to Florida-Alabama Series

In rare Monday action, Florida claimed a 4-1 victory in Game 2 of its series at Alabama (a continuation from Saturday's suspended game). However, the Tide bounced back to take the nightcap, 5-1. Here's an article link.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Florida-Bama & OU-LSU Updates

With inclement weather forecast for Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Florida and Alabama are playing a Saturday doubleheader and a single game Monday.

In Game 1, Florida breaks through with the game's first run with a single in the top of the sixth... This turns out to be the only run, as the Gators win.

The Crimson Tide takes an early lead in Game 2, as the Gator catcher's errant throw to third on an Alabama steal attempt allows the runner to continue home.

Game 2 is postponed due to rain, with Alabama leading 1-0 in the top of the fifth. The game will continue Monday afternoon. According to the linked article, "Florida has a runner at third with nobody out."

***

Oklahoma at LSU has been in a weather delay, but per this Twitter tweet at around 4:15 Central, the game should be starting soon...

LSU leads 6-2 in the bottom of the fifth...

...And closes it out 10-2 via run-rule (6 innings).

Friday, March 20, 2015

LSU Shuts Out Oklahoma Under the Friday Night Lights

Unanimous No. 1 LSU has just shut out No. 6 Oklahoma 1-0. The teams will play again tomorrow in this nonconference series.

Another big series this weekend is in SEC play, with No. 2/3 Florida traveling to No. 4 (tie)/5 Alabama   Action gets underway Saturday.