Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Update (2013 Super-Regionals)

Seven of the eight super-regional series are active today, all except the Washington-Missouri series that was captured by the Huskies last night. I will update this write-up throughout the day. To see game-by-game results at a glance, scroll down to Thursday's entry for my super-regional chart.

Oklahoma is the second team to make the Women's College World Series, defeating Texas A&M in run-rule fashion for the second straight day (10-2 yesterday, 8-0 today).

In other Saturday action...

Louisiana-Lafayette leads Michigan 3-0 in Game 2 of their series, as the Wolverines bat in the top of the sixth. Should the Ragin' Cajuns hold on, the series would go to a decisive Game 3 later today. ULL shortstop Nerissa Myers has just made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch of a ball hit between short and left-field, preventing a Michigan hit... ULL finishes off Michigan 5-0. On to a deciding game...

...And in that deciding game, ULL and Michigan are scoreless after two complete. Louisiana-Lafayette takes a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth...Two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth gives Wolverines a 2-1 lead... Michigan hangs on, becoming the third team to make the WCWS...See below for discussion of an unusual type of out made by ULL in its half of the seventh inning.

UAB leads Florida 1-0 early in Game 1 of that series... The game is now tied 1-1, with the Gators batting in the home half of the fourth inning... This game has seen UAB take leads of 2-1 and 3-2, but Florida has rallied to win 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh.

Alabama, trying to force a decisive game, leads Tennessee 3-0. The Vols are batting in the top of the third... Tennessee gets a run in the top of the third, so it's now 3-1 Bama... Tennessee adds two in the fourth, tying the game. A Vol runner is thrown out at the plate on a single, preventing Tennessee from taking the lead... The Vols now lead 4-3, batting in the top of the sixth... Defending champion Alabama is down to its final three outs, trailing Tennessee 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh...

The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. Defending champ Alabama is out, and Tennessee become the fourth team to qualify for the Women's College World Series... 

Three series began under the lights Saturday. Nebraska (over Oregon), Texas (over Florida State), and Arizona State (over Kentucky) have all taken 1-0 leads in their respective series.

***

In Game 3 of the ULL-Michigan series, the Cajuns' second out in the top of the seventh occurred in an unusual manner. The batter, a slap hitter, hit a foul ball, but was ruled to have had both of her feet outside the batter's box when contacting the ball. The ESPN replay for the television audience appeared to confirm that the batter had indeed been out of the box. Looking at the online NCAA Softball Rules and Interpretations book, one finds in the definition section:

1.63 Illegally Batted Ball 
A pitch contacted by the batter... 
1.63.3 When one or both feet are on the ground and entirely outside the lines of the batter’s box at the time of bat-ball contact.

A further section of the rule book (11.17) describes the actions an umpire is to take in the event of an illegally batted ball:

EFFECT... The ball is dead. The batter shall be declared out immediately, regardless of whether the ball is fair or foul. Each base runner must return to the base legally occupied at the time of the pitch.

In all my years of watching softball, I had never seen a call like this.