Preview of Sunday's Play
Arizona (one loss) vs. Washington (no losses) -- These two Pac 10 foes will battle it out on Sunday for one of the spots in the championship round (which begins Monday night). U of A and U-Dub start off Sunday's action at noon Central. Given the double-elimination format, a Huskies' win in either a Game 1 or (potential) Game 2 against Arizona will put Washington in the championship round. Defending NCAA champion Arizona must sweep two, to return to the final round.
Northwestern (one loss) vs. Tennessee (no losses) -- Tennessee is in an analogous situation to Washington, with just one win over Northwestern needed for the Vols to advance to the final round. For Northwestern to return to the championship round, it must sweep two from Tennessee.
Once the championship round begins, all records are swept clean and the two finalists begin a new two-out-of-three series.
Baylor vs. Northwestern
Northwestern scores two in the top of the first...
After giving up the two runs in the first and struggling early in the second, Baylor's Kirsten Shortridge is replaced in the circle by Lisa Ferguson. Things don't get any better for the Bears, as Ferguson gives up a three-run homer to Tammy Williams and a solo shot to Garland Cooper.
With Northwestern leading 6-0, there seems to be a decent chance that the Wildcats could end up on the favorable side of a run-rule decision, the oppposite of what happened Friday night. The key is that one team leads by a margin of eight runs or more and the trailing team has completed at least five innings of at-bats...
The Wildcats' Nicole Pauly has gone yard in the top of the fourth, making it 7-0 Northwestern...
...and that's how it ends, 7-0. Northwestern continues on, Baylor goes home.
Arizona vs. DePaul
Arizona has broken through with two runs in the top of the fifth, the only scores of the game. The Wildcat runs came on a "Lowe blow," an opposite-field double to the left-field wall by Caitlin Lowe, that is...
Bottom six, still 2-0 'Zona. With two outs, Sandy Vojik, who had a big game earlier today, gets DePaul's first hit of the game, a sharp single to left. The Blue Demons had been four outs away from the dubious distinction of having two World Series losses in the same year both be by no-hitter...
Arizona wins 3-0, DePaul goes back to Chicago.
Final Afternoon Update (Evening session still to come)
The second team to be eliminated is Texas A&M, a 7-4 loser to Big 12 conference foe Baylor. Not a good day for teams wearing maroon, as they've both been eliminated and are thus "marooned" while the other six teams move on.
Whenever Texas A&M's primary starting pitcher goes, I ask myself, "How will Amanda Scarborough fare?" (you can set this to music, if you'd like). Today's answer was, not so well, as she was replaced in the circle with Baylor leading 6-1. The key blow was a three-run homer by the Bears' Courtney Oberg (not just over the fence, but beyond the bleachers, as well). Oberg happens to be from, of all places, College Station, the location of Texas A&M.
Baylor faces Northwestern in tonight's late game, with the loser going home.
The first team going home from the Women's College World Series is Arizona State, a 3-1 loser to DePaul. Sandy Vojik drove in all three Blue Demon runs, two of them on a home run. DePaul will play Arizona tonight in another elimination game.