Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Evening

I just finished listening to the conclusion of Game 2 of the Alabama at Florida doubleheader via the Crimson Tide's internet radio service.

Bama won the first game 6-2, but Florida rebounded to hand the Tide its first loss of the season in the nightcap. An eight-run Gator inning somewhere in the middle of the game was more than enough to "swamp" Alabama, 8-4. The Tide had the tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh with two out, but a grounder to the pitcher ended matters.

Alabama's top pitcher, Chrissy Owens, apparently was not the starter in Game 2, as the radio announcer alluded to Owens' coming in to relieve another pitcher.

The Alabama and Florida team pages (see links section on the right) should have summaries of tonight's action posted at some point later in the evening. These would probably be the best places to seek more details.

Morning

It's an unusually busy Wednesday this week, with a major tournament starting tonight and a potentially big series taking place in the SEC.

The tournament is the Judi Garman Classic, a 16-team competition hosted by Cal State Fullerton. Unlike some of the other "tournaments" this season, the Garman Classic will actually have championship brackets after pool play, instead of only prescheduled match-ups.

The host Titans take on Texas tonight (not a bad alliteration, if I do say so myself) in the opening game of the tourney (and in fact, the only game of opening day). The heavy volume of pool play occurs all day Thursday and Friday, with bracket play to follow (check the tournament webpage, linked above, for details).

No. 6 Oklahoma (in a pool with No. 5 Arizona) and No. 7 Michigan (in a pool with No. 13 Washington) will face some of their toughest competition thus far this season, in the Garman event. No. 16 University of Louisiana-Lafayette, whom some people refer to as "Oo La La," has already faced the likes of Alabama, Baylor, and Georgia, and will get an added challenge from being in a pool with No. 4 Arizona State (the aforementioned rankings are from the ESPN/USA Softball poll, which is the more up-to-date of the national polls at the moment). There should also be some excellent battles beyond pool play when the championship rounds begin.

In the SEC series I alluded to, Alabama, 24-0 and ranked No. 2 nationally in the ESPN/USA Softball poll, travels to Gainesville for an evening doubleheader against Florida. The Gators, of course, handed Tennessee its first loss of the season, this past weekend. Tide pitcher Chrissy Owens has a microscopic 0.42 ERA. The radio broadcast of these games will be available over the Internet, as described at the bottom of the linked article.