6:00 PM: Fresno State vs. Michigan (ESPN2)
8:30 PM (or about 30 minutes after the end of the first game, whichever is later): Montana vs. (6) Washington (ESPN3)
Beth Mowins will be on the call, with 2-time Olympic Michele Smith as the analyst.
How to follow:
If you can, come on out to Husky Softball Stadium! If any of my dedicated readers are out there, give me a shout-out and maybe we can say hi in person! But if you can’t be there, you can watch the game on ESPN3, and I’ll be giving updates as usual on Twitter (@DawgoneCrazy).
Montana Grizzlies at a glance:
Record: 35-22, 15-6 Big Sky
Notes: Unlike the other 3 teams in this regional, all of whom have won the WCWS (Fresno State 1998, Michigan 2005, Washington 2009), Montana is only in its third year of existence as a program, and this is their first postseason bid.
Likely starting pitcher: Freshman RHP #17 Michaela Hood (Las Vegas, NV)
Star power: Both Hood and Sr. 3B #23 Bethany Olea (Yuma, AZ) are first-team all-Big Sky. Montana has seven players from the state of Washington, including a few from the Seattle area, led by an all-Big Sky second teamer: Jr. SS #8 Delene Colburn (Auburn Mountainview HS)
Hood: 18-5, 2.15 ERA, .242 BAA, 16 CG incl. 5 CG SO
Biggest Strength: Doesn’t give up many extra-base hits. Of 171 hits allowed overall, just 34 have gone for extra bases, and only four have left the park. Quite the contrast to UW’s offense with 3 individual players having double-digit homers.
Olea: Slashed .422/.522/.555, team-highs in runs (47) and hits (73).
Biggest strength: Good at grinding out tough at-bats. In 212 plate appearances, Olea has struck out just 8 times.
Colburn: Slashed .402/.488/.759, led Griz in doubles (18), HR (14), RBI (58), and total bases (132). Not really sure how she failed to make all-Big Sky first team.
Biggest strength: Power. In a lineup without too much pop (only 5 Grizzlies players have hit at least 1 home run, and only 3 have more than 2 HR), Colburn has supplied half of the team’s power, hitting 14 of the team’s 28.
Feel free to post random trivia, clarifying questions, strategical ideas, or whatever else in the comment section. Go Dawgs!