Friday, May 19, 2006

10:45 am Central: The bulk of regional action gets underway today. Two regions started yesterday, however (scoreboard). In the four games played, all of the losing teams were shut out.

In the Tucson regional, host Arizona won easily. In the other opening-round game, Ohio State edged Auburn 1-0 in 10 innings, the Buckeyes being helped by a dramatic triple play in the bottom of the seventh inning.

In the Provo regional (where Washington is actually the nationally prominent seed), the Huskies won their opener, as did Big 12 tournament champion Kansas.

There's going to be a ton of games today and over the weekend, with 14 additional regions beginning play, and winners', as well as losers', bracket games. As I did for last week's conference tourneys, I'll focus on the upsets that occur during regionals, thus allowing me to keep my summaries to a manageable scope.

Thus, if you're a fan of a highly ranked team and don't see me writing anything, "no news is good news" (if you're a fan of an underdog team, however, you do want to see me write something). You can use the links on the right-hand side of the page to follow the games via gametrackers and, perhaps, audio and video feeds.

And, as I just discovered via an Ultimate College Softball discussion thread, USA Today has come out with a major piece on Texas pitcher Cat Osterman.

***

There's one other thing I wanted to mention. I listened to Wednesday night's "Road to the Women's College World Series" on University of Alabama station WVUA, in its entirety. What an impressive show! Guests on the two-hour broadcast included Northwestern University "Softball Bracketology" co-author Howard Tilman, ESPN announcer Beth Mowins, Ultimate College Softball operator "Robo Coach," and coaches Patrick Murphy of Alabama and Sue Enquist of UCLA.

There will be another broadcast next week, at the same time, in anticipation of the super-regionals (see my posting immediately below for information on how to access the broadcast over the Internet). The WVUA people also posted the following note on UCS:

Anyone who wishes to listen to the recorded show can go [here]. Each of the seven segments is liste[d] on this page, and by clicking on the individual segments, it will open up another browser window in which you can listen. It doesn't allow you to download it to your computer, but you can listen to it through the browser. Eventualy, I hope to be able to upload it to our own webspace so you can download it to your desktop, but this is better than nothing.

6:20 pm Central: We've had two upsets thus far, with one pending. No. 13 seed Texas A&M has lost to Lehigh, and No. 16 seed Florida has lost to Florida Atlantic. No. 8 seed Tennessee is currently losing to Tennessee Tech, 4-2, with the Vols coming up in the bottom of the fourth.

The regionals are, of course, double-elimination events, so these seeded teams are still alive at this point.

These NCAA softball scores are being provided on cable TV via ESPNews, in the scroller at the bottom of the screen, seemingly a sign of the popularity college softball has achieved.

9:15 pm Central: Further developments today...

Tennessee came back in its game against Tennessee Tech to win 6-4.

This isn't an upset, but Michigan's Jennie Ritter pitched a no-hitter in the Wolverines' opening-round win over Youngstown State (the reference in the linked article to Ritter being a junior is incorrect, as she's a senior).

Addendum to Friday's summary: Ritter was not the only one to pitch a no-hitter. Brandice Balschmiter of UMass also tossed a no-hitter, at the expense of Albany (NY).