Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Late Night

Call them the "Broomer Sooners," as Oklahoma has now swept tonight's doubleheader from Baylor.

In the Big 12 standings, we now have Missouri at 8-1, Baylor at 9-2, and Oklahoma at 10-3. To borrow one of Dan Rather's homespun expressions, "This race is hotter than a Rolex in Times Square."

The Pac 10 race has also tightened, with Arizona State beating Arizona, 6-3. The Sun Devil offense pounded out 12 hits, which is unusually high for such elite competition. However, the Wildcats did not use their ace pitcher, Taryne Mowatt, who had baffled ASU in the teams' prior meetings this season.

Evening

Oklahoma has taken the first game of its doubleheader with Baylor, 3-2 in eight innings. It is the Bears' first Big 12 loss of the season.

Afternoon

I'm calling today Wedge Wednesday. Three games tonight (a single game and a doubleheader) are not only more important than typical midweek fare; tonight's games may be among the most important of the entire season for determining conference regular-season titles.

The reason I have coined the term "Wedge Wednesday" (after combing through the W section of the dictionary for alliteration possibilities) is that certain teams are in a position to drive a "wedge" between themselves and other leading contenders in their leagues.

Take the Arizona at ASU (single) game, which is close to a sell-out. According to the official Pac 10 softball page (see links section on the right), the top of the standings are as follows:

Arizona...........7-1 31-8
Arizona State.....5-3 39-10
Oregon State......5-3 33-13

A win by the Wildcats would thus drive the aforementioned "wedge" between themselves and the Sun Devils in the standings, whereas an ASU win would make it a new race.

Also, in the Big 12 (see standings in last Sunday's entry below), Baylor could virtually end Oklahoma's chances with a sweep of tonight's doubleheader in Norman.