Wednesday, June 08, 2016

2016 WCWS Championship Round -- Game 3

The deciding game for the national championship is underway...

Two Oklahoma singles, combined with two Auburn errors, put two runs across for Sooners in bottom of first... 2-0 OU...

Auburn leaves runners on first and second in top second, as Paige Parker's change-up fools Auburn batter for strikeout... OU can't build on a one-out single in the bottom half...

Tigers get first two runners on in top of third -- Parker drops soft pop-up to her, then Auburn bunt goes for base-hit...  Kasey Cooper flares a single to right-center, loading the bases for Emily Carosone, who hit last night's walk-off grand slam... Carosone strikes out on three pitches... Carlee Wallace up... Grounds into 6-4-3 double-play to end threat... Sooners don't score in bottom half, leaving runner on first...

Leadoff homer to left from Jade Rhodes cuts Tiger deficit to 2-1... Haley Fagan walks on full count... Nothing more for Auburn in top of fourth... Two-out walk for OU in bottom half... Ground-out on chopper to third (close play at first) ends inning...

Auburn down in order in top of fifth... Likewise Oklahoma in the bottom half... Not much to write about!

Same for Auburn in top of sixth... One-out single up the middle for Fale Aviu... After Nicole Pendley fly-out, Kady Self beats out dribbler to third... First and second with two outs... Grounder for force at second ends inning... Tiger pitcher Makayla Martin has now completed six innings with no earned-runs allowed...

Auburn coming up in top of seventh, trailing 2-1. Last chance for Tigers... Madi Gipson leads off... Strikes out swinging... Whitney Jordan next... Fly-out to center... Pinch-hitter Courtney Shea represents Tigers' final hope... Foul pop along right-field line just evades OU fielders. Count is 1-2... Now 3-2 count, a little drama... Shea keeps fouling off pitches... On tenth pitch, grounds out to second...

OU wins Game 3 by a 2-1 score, for the Sooners' third national championship in program history.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

2016 WCWS Championship Round -- Game 2

A wide-open game so far, with Oklahoma leading Auburn 7-5 after two complete...

OU (the visitor tonight) led 7-0 after an inning and a half. After Auburn got its leadoff batter on base in the bottom of the second via HBP, the next two Tigers struck out. But a walk, homer, error, triple, and single have brought us to our present score...

Still 7-5 Sooners, as Tigers come up in bottom of fourth... Two-run shot by Kasey Cooper ties it 7-up... Next batter singles... OU frosh pitcher Jayden Chestnut (who replaced starter Kelsey Stevens) clearly struggling, with none out. Will Paige Parker come in to pitch at some point? Pair of baserunning outs (runner trying to advance from second to third on infield grounder, and failed attempt to steal second) put the kibosh on Auburn rally...

Sooners go quietly in top of fifth... As do Tigers in bottom half...

Auburn pitcher Rachael Walters has been very effective, after replacing starter Kaylee Carlson, who was charged with all seven OU runs...

Two-out single by Sooners' Caleigh Clifton in top sixth, bringing up Shay Knighten... Auburn LF Tiffany Howard reaches over wall to prevent two-run homer! I'll link to a Twitter video clip when one becomes available. Here's a still photo...

The very same Howard beats out infield chopper with one out in bottom sixth... Fly ball for second out... Emily Carosone also gets infield hit, as ball deflects of pitcher's glove... Carlee Wallace at the plate... Grounds out to end threat...

Sooners' last chance (in regulation) to score go-ahead run(s)... Makayla Martin in to pitch for Auburn... Sydney Romero leads off for Sooners... Chopper to third yields infield single... Shallow fly for first out... Ground-out on chopper advances Romero to second with two outs... Kady Self, who homered earlier, now up... Grounds out to end threat...

Chestnut still pitching for OU as Tigers bat in bottom of seventh in tie game... Fly-out to start... Ground-out for second out... Another ground-out sends game to extras...

Three ground-outs set down Oklahoma in top eighth... Ground-out festival continues with Auburn's leadoff hitter in bottom half... Victoria Draper with infield hit... Howard coming up... Shallow pop finds grass in right-center, putting runners on first and second... Cooper up... Walks to load bases with one out... Carosone up... Grand slam!!! Auburn wins 11-7 to force Game 3 tomorrow night...

Monday, June 06, 2016

2016 WCWS Championship Round -- Game 1

We're moments away from Game 1 of the two-out-of-three championship series between Auburn and Oklahoma. I'm going to pick the Sooners, based on steadiness of pitching in the latter part of the season. In early May, Auburn's pitching imploded for a time. Also, the way the Tigers gave up a game-tying three-run homer in the seventh yesterday to Florida State doesn't inspire confidence...

With Oklahoma as the home team for Game 1 and pitching stalwart Paige Parker in the circle, Auburn comes up to bat... A Tiger threat is extinguished on an unusual double-play, ending with a runner thrown out attempting to go from second to third...

Lexi Davis with the surprise pitching start for Auburn... OU gets a runner on in the first, but doesn't score...

Sydney Romero's three-run blast in the bottom of the third continues to hold up, as OU leads 3-0...

Auburn down to its final hacks in the top of the seventh... Leadoff walk... Jade Rhodes homers over the center-field wall, cutting the Tiger deficit to 3-2... Still no outs... Base-hit up the middle... K for first out... Parker airmails throw to first on soft grounder. Instead of being one out away from Game-1 victory, Sooners now face Tiger runners on second and third with one out... Wild play prevents tying run from scoring... Sooner first-baseperson Shay Knighten short-hops hard liner, immediately throws home for successful tag play on runner... Two down... Had Knighten tried to step over to first for out there, extra split-second almost certainly would have allowed runner from third to score... Weak infield pop gives opener to Oklahoma, 3-2.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

WCWS Day 4 (2016)

It will be Oklahoma vs. Auburn for the national title in a two-out-of-three series beginning Monday night. Below are my comments from the four games played Sunday (I caught more of some games than of others)...

LSU vs. OKLAHOMA -- OU 3-0, top third... After LSU ties it, Oklahoma pulls away again to win 7-3.

FLORIDA STATE vs. AUBURN -- Tied 3-3, with the Seminoles batting in the top of the third... FSU single drives in runner from third for 4-3 lead... Jade Rhodes socks three-run homer for Auburn, giving Tigers 6-4 lead in bottom of third... Kasey Cooper blasts a two-out solo shot in bottom of fourth, increasing Auburn lead to 7-4... Beautiful catch by Tigers' Victoria Draper, with FSU having runners on first and second with one out, top sixth. Saves one or two runs. The catch appears about a minute and a half into this highlight video... Walk loads bases for Seminoles, though, with two outs... Alex Powers fly-out to center ends threat... Top 7: Noles down to final hacks, trailing 7-4... Single and walk put two on with none out... Cali Harrod hits three-run homer to tie game! (distance marker)... FSU still up in tie game... Bases loaded (via two walks and HBP) with two out... Grounder to short ends threat... With one out, Auburn gets runner on first, as FSU shortstop can't snare liner... Next two retired... Going to extras... Leadoff walk top eighth for FSU... No score for Seminoles, Tigers coming up in bottom of eighth... Auburn's Madi Gipson standing on third with no outs, after single and Seminole error... Safe on close play at the plate on infield grounder... I thought runner was going to be out, but replay shows she got in safely... Auburn wins 8-7 to advance to finals, FSU done...

LSU vs. GEORGIA (ELIMINATION GAME) -- LSU leads Georgia 2-1, Tigers batting in the bottom of the fourth... Now 3-1 Tigers, as they bat in the bottom of the sixth... Now 4-1... Dawgs come up in top of seventh, needing at least three runs to keep their season alive... UGA goes quietly, LSU stays alive with 4-1 win.

MICHIGAN vs. FLORIDA STATE (ELIMINATION GAME) -- Scoreless game, but the Seminoles have runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the third... Walk loads bases... Run scores on wild-pitch... Walk reloads the bases... Weak foul pop to 3B side ends inning... Fast-forward to Top 6: UM's Abby Ramirez leads off with single to left, only Wolverines' second hit of day. The two Sierras coming up... Lawrence grounds to pitcher for out at first... Sierra Romero, in what may be her last collegiate at-bat, comes up with tying run at second... The suspense builds... Romero walks on five pitches, perhaps an "unintentional intentional walk." Kelly Christner up... Flies out to center, runners can't advance... Up to Kelsey Susalla... Grounds out to second to end half-inning... Still 1-0 FSU... Michigan comes up for final swings in top of the seventh. Score or go home... Tera Blanco leads off... Fouling pitches off at 0-2... Blanco works count to 3-2, then called out looking at borderline inside pitch... Aidan Falk up... Singles to right... Lindsay Montemarano up... Pop-up bunt for second out... (Comment as a Michigan fan: Why bunt???)... Amanda Vargas represents last hope for Michigan... Pop out to first... 1-0 FSU win, Wolverines' season over...

I'm pretty open about being a Michigan fan, as shown in this Twitter "tweet" from the eve of last year's WCWS championship round. With most of last year's national runner-up team returning, I was pretty optimistic about this year. With two-time defending champion Florida off to a hot start this season and seemingly difficult to dethrone, my motto for Michigan was "Championship Round or Bust." Once Florida got eliminated in the super-regionals, however, my motto changed to "National Title or Bust." Well, the season ends "Bust." Too bad for the two Sierras and the other seniors. It was good to get back to the WCWS, but I (and probably many other Wolverine fans) were looking for bigger things. Go Blue!  

Here is the loss chart, showing where all of the teams currently stand...

No LossesOne LossTwo Losses (Gone)
MichiganFlorida StateFlorida State
OklahomaUCLAUCLA
GeorgiaAlabamaAlabama
AuburnLSULSU

GeorgiaGeorgia

MichiganMichigan








Saturday, June 04, 2016

WCWS Day 3 (2016)

Under the usual Women's College World Series format, today would be "Survival Saturday." The remaining undefeated teams would be getting a day of rest, and all the teams playing on Saturday would have had a loss from Thursday or Friday, making them vulnerable under the double-elimination procedure. However, because of Thursday night's rain-outs, the schedule has been shifted around. Only some of today's games, therefore, are pitting one-loss teams against each other, with the loser going home and the winner surviving.

These elimination games feature Florida St. vs. UCLA, and LSU vs. Alabama. This evening's games, matching up teams who won their WCWS openers, include Georgia vs. Auburn, and Oklahoma vs. Michigan (the latter pitting the Romero sisters against each other).

To keep track of how many losses a given team has, see the chart at the bottom of this posting...

SUNDAY MATCH-UPS: Michigan vs. Florida State, and LSU vs. Georgia, in elimination games, to get things going...

OKLAHOMA vs. MICHIGAN (WINNERS' BRACKET) -- Fast start for OU, with HBP and single... Shay Knighten's single up the middle drives in two... Bunt single by Sydney Romero... Knighten steals third... Scores on OU steal of second... Now 3-0 Sooners... Bloop behind second caught by Sierra Romero for first out... Megan Betsa gets K for second out; catcher bobbles ball, so throws to first to be sure of recording out, letting Sooner runner take third... Another K (with follow-up throw to first) ends half-inning... Two Sierras (Lawrence and Romero) retired for Michigan, before Kelly Christner singles... Out attempting to steal second... Bottom 2: Kelsey Susalla singles and Tera Blanco walks to start things off... Aidan Falk bunt advances runners, now one out... Lindsay Montemarano's pop to center too shallow to bring home runner... Up to Amanda Vargas... Ground-out to second ends threat... Solo shot by Sydney Romero makes it 4-zip Sooners in top of third... Nice catch in bottom third by OU's Nicole Pendley in center on warning-track drive by Sierra Romero... Michigan gets one on, but no runs... Aidan Falk hits two-run homer in bottom of fourth, just over fair-pole, cuts deficit to 4-2... Vargas doubles with two out... Abby Ramirez walks, bringing up Sierra Lawrence... Line-shot off pitcher's mitt goes for infield single... Bases loaded for Sierra Romero... Can she match her sister's earlier homer? No homer, but she beats out slow infield roller (hit to her sister, as ESPN announcers point out!), making it 4-3 Sooners... Christner up... Strikes out to end threat... Pendley leadoff homer in top sixth gives OU some cushion, 5-3... Sooners in commanding position in top seventh, one run in on bases-loaded walk (making it 6-3), with only one out... Sara Driesenga replaces Betsa in circle for UM... Force at the plate for second out... Infield hit makes it 7-3... Force at third ends half-inning... Wolverines need at least four runs in the bottom of the second or it's off to the losers' bracket... Michigan barely hanging on with two on, two out... Can UM revive the Mizzou magic from the super-regionals? Falk singles in a run (7-4)... Lindsay Montemarano, only hitless Wolverine (per ESPN), comes to plate as tying run... No longer hitless, Montemarano makes it 7-5 on sharp single to left... Amanda Vargas potential winning run at the plate... HBP... Bases loaded for Ramirez, tying run in scoring position... 2-0 count to Ramirez... 3-0... 3-1... Full count... Grounder back to pitcher ends game... OU wins 7-5.

GEORGIA vs. AUBURN (WINNERS' BRACKET) -- Georgia leading 3-1, as Auburn comes up in the top of the sixth... Nothing doing for Tigers... Still 3-1 UGA, as Auburn comes up in top of the seventh... Leadoff single...  Booted grounder near second (potential double-play) gives Tigers runners at the corners with none out... Hard single to right for Kasey Cooper, cuts deficit to 3-2... Emily Carosone follows with another single, tie game! Still no outs, as Auburn has runners on corners... Pitching change for Georgia: Brittany Gray in for Chelsea Wilkinson... Pop to first, one out... Tigers take 4-3 lead on fielder's choice force at second (actually, runner from first called for running out of the basepath)... Another out ruled for Auburn firstthird-base coach touching incoming runner to guide her along, but only after run had scored. Got that?... These two tweets from Auburn capture the situation well:


Georgia now bats in bottom of seventh, trailing 4-3... First batter retired... K for second out... Bulldogs barely alive on 3-2 walk; had to consult base umpire for decision on whether or not swing took place... Element of surprise: Samantha LaZear beats out drag bunt to first... Fool me twice? No, Sydni Emanuel's bunt attempt fielded cleanly for final out... Auburn wins 4-3.

ALABAMA vs. LSU (ELIMINATION GAME) -- LSU's Sandra Simmons leads off the game with a homer, just inside the right-field fair-pole (or as some call it, "foul-pole")... Tigers leave the bases loaded, however, so Bama lucky to be trailing only 1-0... Haylie McCleney with leadoff two-bagger for Tide in bottom of first... Demi Turner's sac-fly to warning track in right advances runner to third... Grounder to short (with runner held) and strike-out end Bama threat... Top 3: On a seemingly routine LSU bunt of a runner (Bianka Bell) from first to second, Crimson Tide leaves third unattended, so Bell takes extra base (with one out)... Bell scores on ground-out to second, 2-0 Tigers... Top 3: Sydney Booker leads off with double to wall in right-center... Kallie Case drives ball to similar location, but Bailey Landry with nice catch for Tigers. Bama runner, with an aggressive jump, must rush back to second... McCleney walks... Turner with infield hit between first and second... Leona Lafaele single to left drives in one run... Marisa Runyon hits into double-play (Constance Quinn tags runner going to second, throws batter out at first)... Tigers take 2-1 lead into top of fourth... Amber Serrett singles with one out... Emily Griggs, with outfielders playing shallow, drives ball over their heads for double, Serrett to third... Madi Moore replaces Sydney Littlejohn in circle for Alabama... Sandra Simmons bloops single to shallow left, driving in run... Simmons takes second on throw to third... Wild-pitch scores another, making it 4-1 LSU; other runner advances to third... Landry walks, putting runners on corners for Bell... Great catch by Chandler Dare on bloop behind second for second out (runners hold)... Sahvanna Jaquish up, crushes double to wall in left, bringing home two. Tigers lead 6-1... Kellsi Kloss at the plate, flies out to right (Kloss doesn't literally fly, the ball does)... Tide facing big hole as it bats in bottom of fourth... ESPN graphic: Bama facing first (potential) two-and-done elimination since 2006 (although not in WCWS in 2007, 2010, and 2013)... Tide retired in bottom of fourth... Fast-forward to bottom of sixth: Alabama solo home-run (Lafaele), HBP, error, and two singles cut deficit to 6-3... Bases loaded with one out... Another error makes it 6-4, bases still loaded... McCleney up, taps to pitcher (Walljasper) for force at home... Two outs now for Turner... Ground-out ends threat... LSU goes quietly, bringing up Bama for final swings... K for first out... Runyon sharp single to right; according to ESPN announcer, Runyon's first hit in 22 AB... Grounder to pitcher leads to 1-6-3 double-play, ending the contest... LSU wins 6-4 to stay alive, Tide goes home...

FLORIDA ST. vs. UCLA (ELIMINATION GAME) -- In Saturday's first game, FSU leads 7-4, with UCLA batting in the bottom of the fifth... Same score, as the Seminoles bat in the top of the seventh... Bruins come up in the bottom half, now trailing 8-4... UCLA goes quickly in the bottom of the seventh and is eliminated...


No LossesOne LossTwo Losses (Gone)
MichiganFlorida State
OklahomaUCLAUCLA
GeorgiaAlabamaAlabama
AuburnLSU

Georgia

Michigan






HTML Tables

Friday, June 03, 2016

WCWS Day 2 (2016) -- Which Includes Completion of Two Day-1 Games

DAY-1 GAME 4 -- LSU vs. MICHIGAN (PLAYED ON DAY 2)

The Tigers and Wolverines are now underway, roughly 24 hours after they were supposed to play... Bailey Landry drives a one-out double to the left-field wall to get things going for LSU... Strike-out and infield pop-up end the threat... Sierra Lawrence on third for Michigan with two outs in the bottom of the first; she walked, then advanced a base at a time on two ground-outs... Fly-out to left ends the inning... Elyse Thornhill's infield single doesn't lead to anything for LSU in top second... Bottom 2: UM's Lindsay Montemarano bloops a two-out single to left, barely beyond the infield dirt... Nothing comes of it, though... Top 4: Bianka Bell leads off with an infield single for the Tigers (chopper over third-baseperson's head, retrieved by shortstop)... Two-out walk puts Tigers on first and second... K ends inning... One-out single for Michigan's Kelsey Susalla in bottom of fourth, followed by Tera Blanco base-hit (Susalla to second)... Fly-out to left brings up Montemarano with two out... Montemarano dribbler to second, out on close play at first to retire side... Top 5: Amber Serrett out on close play at first on spinning ball hit a short distance... Emily Griggs bloops one just over third for single... Sandra Simmons walks... Landry beats ball into ground; out when it bounces up and hits her outside the batter's box... Bell up with two outs... K to end half-inning... Wolverines go quietly in bottom half... Interesting stat from ESPN: In same number of innings (5), Michigan's Megan Betsa has thrown 91 pitches, to only 56 for LSU's Allie Walljasper... Top 6: Betsa retires Tigers in rare 1-2-3 inning... Sierra Romero leading off bottom half for the Wolverines, walks... Kelly Christner with 3-0 count; after two strikes, singles to right (Romero to second)... Susalla up, bunts foul for 0-2 count; now full count; pitch in dirt for Ball 4, loading bases with no outs... Tera Blanco up... Carley Hoover will try to vacuum up LSU's current mess, replacing Walljasper... Blanco doubles to right-field wall, driving in two... Hoover strikes out Aidan Falk for first UM out... Dribbler back to circle leads to runner from third being thrown out at plate (runner advances from second to third)... Wolverines send up Amanda Vargas to pinch-hit... Vargas keeps fouling pitches off (0-2 count)... Defensive indifference as UM runner "steals" second... Vargas still fouling 'em off (count now 2-2)... Strikes out swinging... LSU down to its final three outs, trailing 2-0... Quinn, Serrett, and Griggs due up... Ground-out on hard shot to third for first out... K for second out... Soft grounder back to circle for final out... Michigan wins 2-0...


DAY-1 GAME 3 -- ALABAMA vs. OKLAHOMA (PLAYED ON DAY 2)

Yesterday's Alabama-Oklahoma game, which was halted after an inning and a half due to rain, has resumed today. The Sooners came up for their swings in the bottom of the second, but went down uneventfully. Scoreless, with Bama batting in the top of the third... Sydney Booker pop-up finds the grass between OU right-fielder and second-baseperson; Booker on second with one out... Tide can't drive her in, however... Sooners down quietly in bottom of third... Pitchers Alexis Osorio (Alabama) and Paige Parker (Oklahoma) are having their way so far... And so it goes until the bottom of the eighth, when OU's Shay Knighten delivers three-run walk-off homer to win it for Sooners by 3-0 score...

Thursday, June 02, 2016

WCWS Day 1 (2016)

UPDATED SCHEDULE DUE TO THURSDAY-NIGHT RAIN-OUTS


GAME 3 -- ALABAMA vs. OKLAHOMA

Bama retired 1-2-3 in the top of the first... OU gets a runner via walk, but thrown out on steal attempt by wide margin to end first inning... Rain and wind picking up, but play continues into second inning... Crimson Tide goes 1-2-3 again in second, before tide of rain forces delay...


GAME 2 -- UCLA vs. AUBURN

Our next game will be a rematch of last year's extra-inning WCWS classic, won by Auburn 11-10 over UCLA (click here and then scroll down on the new page, for a summary)... Game underway... Round-the-horn ground-ball double-play retires UCLA in top of first... Auburn gets first batter aboard via HBP... Kasey Cooper doubles to right-center gap, leaving runners on second and third with none out... Weak infield pop-up, one down... Walk to load bases... Another HBP brings home game's first run... Paige McDuffee replacing Selina Ta'Amilo in circle for Bruins... Sac-fly to right makes it 2-0 Tigers... Another HBP loads bases and yet another one brings home run for 3-0 Auburn lead... Bad UCLA throw on routine grounder to 2B yields two more runs... Ground-out to third ends inning, 5-0 Auburn... After Auburn ups lead to 7-0 after three, Bruins show signs of life on three-run blast by Mysha Sataraka... Game over: 10-3 Auburn is your final...


GAME 1 -- GEORGIA vs. FLORIDA STATE

Joltin' Jessica Warren sends a blast to give Florida State a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first over Georgia... Pair of Seminole errors gives Bulldogs runners on first and second, none out, in top of second... Runners each advance a base on passed-ball... Back-to-back sac-flies tie the game, without Georgia getting a single hit... Ground-out ends half-inning... Top 3: Georgia again puts first two runners on, via a short bloop single and beating out a bunt... Meghan King replaces Jessica Burroughs in the circle for FSU... Pop-out on bunt attempt, one down... Hard single up the middle by Alyssa DiCarlo gives UGA 3-2 lead, runners on corners with one out... Another single up the middle, this time by Tina Iosefa, makes it 4-2... K for second out... Another K ends threat... Fast-forward to the bottom of the sixth: FSU's Alex Powers powers one over the left-field fence for a game-tying two-run homer... Seminoles with runners on first and second, two out, in bottom of sixth... Pop-up ends threat... Top 7: Airmailed throw to second on steal attempt puts Georgia runner on third... Scores on ground-out after throw to first (close play at plate)... 5-4 Dawgs... Noles coming up, down to final three outs... Nothing doing for FSU, as Georgia pulls it out (ESPN broadcast cut out before final out, but Game Tracker comes through)... Here's your key to the game: