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Friday, May 26, 2006

9:45 pm Central: The 1-0 Texas score over Washington alluded to below indeed held up, so the Longhorns now lead the series 1-0. Other finals...

In Tuscaloosa, it was Crimson and Cardinal (sort of sounds like the Tommy James and the Shondells song, "Crimson and Clover"). Anyway, it was Alabama (the Crimson Tide) defeating Stanford, 4-1.

Rounding out today's action, Arizona went a game up on LSU.

In looking at the discussion forums at Ultimate College Softball (see link to UCS in the right-hand column of this page), it appears that additional series are being televised, beyond what I've noted so far. These additional games are on ESPN-U and College Sports TV (see link to the CSTV page, too).

8:20 pm Central: The Washington at Texas game is currently on ESPN, the Longhorns having just taken a 1-0 lead. The Huskies are now coming up in the top of the sixth. It'll be a busy softball weekend on ESPN and ESPN2, with the focus on the Michigan-Tennessee series, as well as on "U Dub" and Texas. The series between South Florida and UCLA will be televised on ESPN-U, the relatively new college sports-focused member of the ESPN family, which some of you may get.

Two additional final scores available at this time are: Arizona State over Florida State, 6-1, and, in the intra-Pac 10 battle, Cal over Oregon State, 2-1.

5:05 pm Central: We have our first result of the super-regional openers -- Massachusetts (UMass) has defeated Northwestern 1-0. Each super-regional series is two-out-of-three, so the Wildcats can still win the series and advance to the Women's College World Series. However, the Minutewomen need only one more win.

Brandice Balschmiter, who threw a no-hitter for UMass in the regionals, got the shut-out win over Northwestern, holding the Wildcats' usually powerful offense to four hits.

I happened to be in the Chicago area last weekend, visiting my sister and her family, en route to an academic conference I was attending at Indiana University-Bloomington. That allowed me to attend Northwestern's first victory over Notre Dame in regional action last Saturday, and visit with student broadcasters from WNUR (including Softball Bracketology co-author Dan Platt; see links section at right). I also took some pictures at the game...

Northwestern won this game 9-0 in five innings, thanks to the "run rule" (also known as a "mercy rule").

The Wildcats spent a lot of time at the plate, producing runs that launched celebrations by the team...

...and by some banner-waving fans.

On the day I arrived in Chicago (Thursday, May 18), I went by Wrigley Field, about a half-hour after the Cubs' game had ended. One of the team's many traditions is to post a "W" or "L" flag atop the scoreboard after the game, to notify passersby of how the Cubs did. Sadly for Northwestern fans, their outcome against UMass today would warrant the same designation as the Cubs' result on May 18 against the Washington Nationals, as shown below.