Softball: Michigan vs. Washington Open Thread

Submitted by Balrog_of_Morgoth on June 2nd, 2013 at 3:34 PM

The girls beat Arizona State early this morning, and now they are taking on 11-seed Washington. The game is on ESPN (it started at 3:30pm). Win and advance, or lose and go home. The winner takes on 1-seed Oklahoma at 9:30 tonight.

FINAL SCORE: 4-1 Washington. Good season, girls!


South Bend Wolverine

June 2nd, 2013 at 6:16 PM ^

Holly Rowe tweeted the following after Romero's fantastic work on defense in the top of the 7th: "By FAR best player I have seen at is Michigan's Sierra Romero. Just ridiculous range, athleticism and moxie. FLAT OUT BALLER. WOW"

Best player at the WCWS was our freshman star?  I'm ok with that!


June 2nd, 2013 at 7:31 PM ^

They really went farther than I thought they would.  The name of the game is elite pitching... like Ricketts, and others.   Haylie Wagner was our #1 last year, was a pre-season watch list player.  Expectations were that she would be improved from last year.   Just didn't happen.  We don't know the extent of her injuries, but the loss of Wagner really handicapped this team.  Driesenga did a heroic job and had some terrrific, gutty efforts to get the team as far as it did.  Kudos to her and the whole team, but the fact is that this team had the highest team ERA in Micigan history.

You would think that next year looks promising, but again it all comes down to pitching.  Wagner needs to get herself right.  Driesenga needs to improve.  And hopefully one of the two (or our incoming Freshman - Betsa) rises to the elite pitcher level.  

All in all, a good year given the above.  I am hopeful about next year.


June 2nd, 2013 at 8:43 PM ^

Baseball made changes in 1968 because pitching had become too dominant.  I think softball needs to do the same.  It is supposed to be a team game, but as it is set up now, one dominant pitcher just has way too disproportional of an effect on the game. 


South Bend Wolverine

June 2nd, 2013 at 11:11 PM ^

Not sure I can really agree with that.  Softball is a much more offensively-minded game now than it was even five or ten years ago, much less twenty.  The mercy-rule has come under serious fire because teams can now legitimately hope to make up an 8-run deficit (Michigan had multiple 8+ run innings this season), something unthinkable back in the 90s.

The reason that elite pitching continues to be the name of the game in softball moreso than in baseball is the fact that underhand pitching is much less abusive to the human body than overhand pitching is, so that combined with the 7-inning game as opposed to 9 means that it really is possible to ride two pitchers through a season, and often just one through the post-season.  You don't need a pitching staff in softball the way you do in baseball, you just need a couple of elite pitchers.  Softball already doesn't have a mound, the NCAA has been cracking down on rules regarding pitchers staying on the ground, going straight forward, etc., and offenses get more explosive all the time.  I'd say the game is in a great spot right now.