Friday, June 01, 2007

Arizona vs. Tennessee

This game is still scheduled to take place tonight, in spite of the late hour (11:00 Central)...

The idea of the Vols' Monica Abbott getting a repeat no-hitter was quickly put to rest, as the Wildcats' Caitlin Lowe led off the game by beating out a grounder back to Abbott. However, Lowe was called out for leaving first base early on a steal attempt. A freeze-frame on the instant replay clearly showed Lowe to have left the bag while the ball was still in Abbott's hand. Two strikeouts follow to end the top of the first. Tennessee's now coming up to bat...

Update 1: Abbott gets two key strikeouts in the top of the third to put out a fire and keep the score at 0-0. Arizona got a one-out single with a runner on second, but she had to stop at third. After a strikeout, the Vols intentionally walked Kristie Fox, U of A's hero of yesterday, to load the bases. Abbott then struck out the next batter...

Update 2: Tennessee got its first hit of the game, a lead-off single by India Chiles in the fourth inning. However, the next batter bunted into the air, allowing Wildcat pitcher Taryne Mowatt to catch the ball for an out and then double Chiles off first. The next batter was retired, so it's still 0-0...

Update 3: Abbott pulls off another Houdini feat in the top of the sixth. With Arizona having the bases loaded and one out, she induces an infield pop-up and then gets a strikeout to end the threat. One of the Wildcat runners left on base was the aforementioned Fox who singled and, as the ESPN 2 announcers pointed out, has a 1.000 on-base percentages in the World Series thus far...

Update 4: The bottom of the sixth has been the most active offensive inning for Tennessee. After two walks, the miracle player, India Chiles, she of the torn ACL, gets her second hit of the game, a sharp grounder up the middle. Even though Wildcat center-fielder Caitlin Lowe is able to field the ball probably only several yards behind the infield dirt, a Tennessee runner tries to score from second and is thrown out at home, leaving the Vols with runners on second and third with two outs... U of A then has difficulty with an infield grounder by Tiffany Huff, allowing Huff to beat the throw at first and the first run of the game to score... Tennessee is retired, sending the game to the top of the seventh with a 1-0 Volunteer lead...

Final update of the evening/morning: Abbott ends the game with her 16th strikeout. Arizona gets a runner to second with two out, setting the table for the Wildcats' Chelsie Mesa to possibly tie the game with a well-placed hit, but it's not to be for U of A.

Thus, at the end of Day 2, Tennessee and Washington are the only remaining undefeated teams. Under the double-elimination format, all other teams are now subject to elimination each time they play (unless they make the championship round, where the slate is cleaned and the two finalists play a two-out-of-three series). On to "Survival Saturday"...

Washington vs. Northwestern

After a nearly three-hour rain delay, today's opening game, between Washington and Northwestern, is finally underway. In honor of purple being the main color for each school, all of my writing for this game will be in purple. Both of these teams won yesterday, so under the tournament's double-elimination format, neither team is in danger of elimination tonight...

Update 1: U-Dub strikes first, with two runs in the top of the third, taking advantage of two walks and a single given up by Northwestern's Eileen Canney.

Update 2: It's now 3-0 Washington, as the Huskies add a run in the fourth via an unusual set of events: a walk, an advancement to second on an apparent illegal pitch, a sacrifice fly, and a wild pitch.

Update 3: It's been a very "un-Canney" night for Northwestern's starting pitcher Eileen. She's been knocked out of the game by a Husky attack that has, thus far, collected three hits in the top of the fifth and added a run, to make it 4-0. The bases are still loaded with no outs, and Lauren Delaney comes in for the Wildcats...

Update 4: Still top of the fifth, still bases loaded for U-Dub, still no outs. But the score is now 8-0. Delaney allowed three runs, then Canney was put back in. We'll see how many more runs Washington can score, but even if it doesn't add any more, an eight-run margin at this stage puts the game into potential run-rule territory. Specifically, Northwestern will have to bring the margin to something less than eight runs in its half of the fifth, or the game will reach a premature end.

Update 5: The top of the fifth finally ends with the Huskies leading 9-0.

Update 6: Game over. Northwestern falls in a five-inning run-rule, 9-0 Washington wipe-out.