Thursday, May 10, 2007

Late night

UCLA has handed Arizona a rare defeat in Tucson, by a score of 7-4. The Bruins' Megan Langenfeld not only was the winning pitcher; she also socked a three-run homer.

Up the highway, ASU defeated Washington, 2-1.

Late afternoon

Today's action in the Big 12 tournament has been rained out, so play will begin tomorrow.

No upsets yet, of which I'm aware, but Alabama and LSU each needed extra innings to win their respective opening games in the SEC tourney.

Please visit the conference-tournament websites linked below for further details.

Morning

Today begins what will be several exciting weekends to determine, ultimately, this year's national champion of college softball. Immediately ahead of us are conference tournaments of the Big 10, Big 12, and SEC, which will determine the recipient of each of these conferences' automatic NCAA bids. All of the leading teams from these leagues will get in as at-large teams, anyway, if they don't win automatic bids, but I find conference tournaments to be exciting, nevertheless. These tourneys are all single-elimination (perhaps to avoid burnout?), but once NCAA play starts, every round is double-elimination. Websites for these conference tournaments are as follows:

Big 10

Big 12

SEC

As a time-saving measure, if nothing else, I will probably only be commenting on upsets that occur throughout these tournaments. Thus, if you don't see updates about a certain team, its games are probably going according to seeding.

Some of the best recent snark I've seen occurred in an Ultimate College Softball discussion thread. Noting that Auburn is hosting the SEC tournament, but did not qualify to actually participate in it, the commentator mentioned that Auburn's athletic department won't have any trouble finding people to staff the snack shack (i.e., the Auburn players!).

Plenty of other conferences besides just these are holding tournaments, also. Ultimate College Softball (see links section on the right) has a nice "Scoreboard" section to follow these other leagues.

In the Pac 10, which doesn't have a conference tournament, the final weekend of regular-season play takes place. The top four teams in the standings will be playing a bunch of games against each other, as UCLA and Washington travel to face the Arizona schools (see Pac 10 softball page in the links section).

Between CSTV and the various regional Fox Sports channels, several games from the above conferences will be televised this weekend. As they say, check your local listings!

The NCAA tournament field and regional assignments will be announced Sunday at some point between 3:00-4:00 Eastern on ESPNews.