Monday, June 01, 2015

2015 WCWS Championship Round -- Game 1

A bit of a surprise in that Florida is starting Aleshia Ocasio, instead of Lauren Haeger, in the circle. Haeger is the ace, but Ocasio has beaten Michigan twice this season. The Wolverines are sticking with Megan Betsa, even though her pitching has been shaky in the two previous games and Haylie Wagner has had to relieve her.

TOP 1st: Kelly Christner gets a two-out single for Michigan, but that's it...

BOTTOM 1st: Errant throw on grounder to short puts Gators' Kelsie Stewart on second... Stewart to third on ground-out to second. That brings up Haeger, who has hit 70 career homers along with exceeding 70 pitching wins... Haeger hits her 71st, making it 2-0 Gators... Two strikeouts (with a walk in between) gets Betsa and Michigan out of the inning...

TOP 2nd: Wagner gets two-out single... Tera Blanco walks, bringing up Abby Ramirez.  The Wolverines have been getting a lot of production from the lower part of the order in the WCWS... But not this time, as Ramirez strikes out...

BOTTOM 2nd: Gators go quietly...

TOP 3rd: Sierra Romero rips a one-out single up the middle... Christner flies out to right, Romero stays put... Kelsey Susalla likewise flies out to right...

BOTTOM 3rd: Nicole DeWitt with a one-out single, Haeger lines double to wall, making it 3-0 Gators... Kirsti Merritt HBP...  Ground-up to second advances runners to second and third... Michigan at a crossroads, as base hit may put game out of reach... Bailey Castro up... Walks to load bases for Taylore Fuller... Wagner coming in to pitch... Easy pop-up to catcher ends threat...

TOP 4th: Lindsay Montemarano with a one-out walk, followed by strikeout... Force at second ends half-inning...

BOTTOM 4th: Error by shortstop puts lead-off Gator on first... Bunt pop-up leaves her there... Hard, low chopper grabbed by Blanco at first for out, runner to second... Dribbler to left side of infield, out on close play at first...

TOP 5th: Sierra Lawrence with a one-out walk on a 3-2 pitch... Romero forces her fellow Sierra at second... Weak bloop to first ends half-inning (not sure if caught on fly or a grounder)...

BOTTOM 5th: Michigan retires Haeger for first time tonight, on deep grounder to Romero between first and second... Next batter also grounds out... K ends the inning...

TOP 6th: Susalla lines single to center and Lauren Sweet HBP, giving UM first and second with no outs... Montemarano at the plate... Sac-fly to right, Susalla advances to third... Wagner up. Can she rescue Michigan offensively, the way she has stabilized the Wolverines from the circle? Misses a homer to left by mere feet, as ball goes foul... Wagner retired on infield pop-up... Up to Blanco, who walks...  Ramirez due up with bases loaded, receiving pep talk from Lawrence... The pep talk works, as Ramirez singles in two. UM cuts deficit to 3-2... Lawrence up with runners on first and second... Flies to warning track in left-center, ending threat...

BOTTOM 6th: Lead-off HBP to Castro... Fuller flies to center (you know what I mean)... Runner bunted to second, two out... Pinch-hitter Briana Little with weak pop to pitcher, ending inning...

TOP 7th: This is it for Michigan, with heart of order -- Romero, Christner, and Susalla -- due up... Delaney Gourley in to pitch for Florida... 3-2 after 3-0 count... Foul... Ball 4, high... Romero to second on passed ball... Christner hanging in a 2-2 with some foul balls... Singles, with Romero held at third... Force at second, Romero still at third... Sweet strikes out, Wolverines down to final out. Montemarano ground out to short. GAME OVER.

PREGAME NOTE: I've never hidden the fact that I'm a graduate of the University of Michigan (Ph.D., 1989). I'm definitely rooting for the Wolverines, but I will try my best to keep my coverage as unbiased as possible. Below is my T-shirt lineup for tonight, tomorrow night, and (if necessary) Wednesday night.


Right now, I'm wearing a 2005 national championship shirt. Tomorrow, I'll wear my shirt with "Go Blue!" in German, in honor of my wife. Wednesday, I'll go with a basic MICHIGAN shirt.