Monday, July 16, 2007

The US has won this year's KFC World Cup of Softball. As many of you may have seen on ESPN2 earlier this evening, Cat Osterman pitched Team USA to a 3-0 win over Japan in the championship game.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Team USA is taking on Canada in a Sunday afternoon match-up. Currently, it's 4-0 US, with the Americans batting in the top of the fifth. The University of Washington's Danielle Lawrie, whom many of you will remember from this past spring's Women's College World Series, has just come in to pitch for Canada.

Update: The US coasted to a 7-0 victory over Canada. The Americans have now clinched a spot in Monday night's KFC World Cup championship game, probably against Japan. Only if Japan loses both of its Sunday night games -- to Venezuela and China -- will it not make the final.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The US team is now playing its evening game of the Saturday schedule, in which it leads Japan, 1-0, after an inning played. Monica Abbott is pitching for the Americans. I would say Team USA has a fairly deep pitching staff, you think?

Update: Japan kept things relatively competitive, but the USA ultimately prevailed by a 4-1 score.

Earlier today, the US routed the Dominican Republic, 9-0.

Friday, July 13, 2007

As most readers of this blog would probably be aware, there's some major softball going on, with the KFC World Cup taking place in Oklahoma City. Games involving the USA squad are being shown on ESPN and ESPN2. This article shows the schedule.

Team USA opened up last night with a run-rule-shortened 9-1 win over Venezuela.

As I write, the USA is playing its second game, leading 8-0 over China after three complete innings; another run-rule game thus seems likely.

All three American pitchers that have gone so far are ones who ended their collegiate careers in 2006. Jennie Ritter (Michigan) and Alicia Hollowell (Arizona) threw last night, and Cat Osterman (Texas) is currently in the circle.

Other players on the US roster include former Arizona outfielder Caitlin Lowe and former Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott, who faced each other in this spring's Women's College World Series; Natasha Watley, one of the heroes of UCLA's 2003 NCAA championship; and Jennie Finch, the star pitcher of Arizona's 2001 NCAA championship team.

Update: The USA finished off China, 8-0, in a five-inning game shortened by run-rule.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I was just looking over the official website for the National Pro Fastpitch women's softball league. Given that softball has one of the latest-ending seasons within collegiate athletics and is inherently a spring/summer sport, this means that college seniors good enough to play at the pro level hardly get any break between NCAA and NPF action.

Two players that we saw just about a month ago in the Women's College World Series, Northwestern's Eileen Canney (pitcher) and Garland Cooper (1B), are in fact teammates again, with NPF's New England Riptide. And, today, the twosome led the Riptide to victory in a game against Philadelphia.

I plan to do some additional, periodic entries on the NPF over the summer, with a focus on prominent collegiate players of the last few years.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July to everyone!

In recent softball news, the USA team took first place at the Junior World Championships (19 and under) in Enschede, The Netherlands.

In line with this age limit, the American players appear to have been a mix largely of those who just completed their frosh year of college and those entering college this coming fall. Both through this USA Softball collection of player journals and the official USA roster at the tournament website, you can see who played for the Red, White, and Blue (the two lists are not identical).

Some of the familiar names from this past college season would include K'Lee Arredondo (Arizona), Tiffany Huff (Tennessee), Maggie Viefhaus (Michigan), and Megan Langenfeld (UCLA). As noted in the article linked to Langenfeld's name, an additional four players from the USA team will be joining the Bruins for this upcoming season.

Another member of the team was Brittany Lastrapes, an incoming player for the University of Arizona and the younger sister of Dominique Lastrapes, who recently finished her career at the University of Washington.