Saturday, June 03, 2006

Three Wins Away

From Northwestern's third national championship in two weeks (if you count the doubles win of Grier and Prousis). Absolutely incredible. Even if NU's run ends tomorrow, which I don't believe it will, it has still been an incredibly successful campaign, the first or second best ever (competing only with Ishikawa's third place team).

Tomorrow's opponent is definately the team Northwestern wanted to face in this situation. Of the three seeds higher than the Wildcats, they had only beaten (or scored runs against) UCLA.

All Northwestern needs to do is win one of two games tomorrow. "Jelly" Selden had a phenomenal game against Texas, shutting them out to only three hits. But her earlier games were very rough. She lost the lead late to Tennessee and had a lot of long atbats with Alabama (although she only gave up one run, a solo shot by the short statured Accetturo, whose grandparents I met in the elevator...good people, they're very proud).

The point is that Selden is beatable. She mowed down Texas, but the Longhorns had arguably the weakest lineup in the WCWS. And we've already seen Eileen Canney and the Wildcat defense stop the Volunteers' number one offense cold (remember, Tennessee had never before had less than 4 hits; yesterday, they had one).

Selden will have a much harder time against a team with power, high averages, and plate patience. I can't say their hitters will have a more difficult time with Canney or Foster than they did Cat Ostermann (who just got a touching standing ovation from the many Texas fans in attendance on this her last collegiate game). When Canney did face the Bruins, the only two hits she gave up were solo jacks...this is a very favorable matchup for the purple clad fans here in OKC (about the same number as UCLA, and much more energetic).

Anyway you look at it, Northwestern has an excellent chance at winning this game. You can't say it will be easy, or sure-fire, since UCLA is supposed to be the best team in the country. But this year, NU is 1-0 against the Bruins, and UCLA has already lost this tournament. I'm confident Dan and Alex will be calling at least two games in the championship.

As for tomorrow's game, Ray and I will have all your coverage, starting with a pregame at 1:45pm, first pitch at 2pm. As always, your only home for Northwestern Wildcat Softball is right here on WNUR 89.3 FM, or Also, with the eliminations today, NU is one of only two radio stations left standing in Oklahoma City, the other being Tennessee. Should Arizona rub them out in the first game tomorrow, WNUR will be the ONLY radio coverage of the Women's College World Series.

Send it in!!!

Now, to take my safari hat, chewed fingernails, and showtunes back to the hotel.

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