tinkll1 (tinkll1) wrote,

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Hats off to Women's Softball

Dialysis clinic rounds and Thai restaurant visits suffered this week as self-indulgence took over, and I settled in to watch the Lady Bruins cut through the softball world series like a knife through warm butter. Not quite that easily, but they seemed to be on a mission and they peaked at exactly the right time. When ESPN devoted their programming to womens softball, I put non-emergent visits on hold and made it a point to watch the TV every time the Lady Bruins played. I neglected to wear my Bruin tie on game days, a critical but unrecognized fact, that contributed to the 1995 Bruin Basketball Championship. Perhaps, that's why the butter turned to granite, Michigan granite, and a determined bunch of Wolverines who were ranked number one, and showed us why with comeback victories in the final two games, after losing the first while playing the second game of their doubleheader. This followed an extra innings victory over Tennessee. It was a very exciting series, and coming on three consecutive nights, there was a feeling of getting to know the players and the coaches from both teams.

There are different techniques in softball and I am still learning some of the specific jargon but the game unfolds so much quicker than baseball, the distance between bases and the pitcher's mound to the plate are so much shorter, that the action seems to be more frequent and more exciting.

The Lady Bruins finished fifth in their league, won the critical game in five elimination contests, and found themselves playing for the championship as the 7th ranked team in the tournament, and yet they went into the final round of the world series, undefeated. Michigan, the first ranked team, entered the three game championship series with one loss, and they had to win their last game to make it to the final round. The game was played in the morning and they had to come back that evening to play the Bruins for the first time. The Bruins prevailed on a day's rest. Not exactly a fair match. But, that was it. The Sluggers were brutal. Samantha Findlay tied the game in the 6th inning and put it away in the 10th with a 3 run homer. Both teams had opportunities to win it earlier, but the Wolverines Jenny Ritter retired the crucial batters after an opening double, and with the bases loaded. On the Bruin side, with Wolverines loading the bases, Angela Duran grabbed a hard hit liner at third base and doubled the runner, and Angela Seldon struck out the batter to end the inning. The opportunities were there for both teams, but the Wolverines cashed in.

It was a great series, and a first victory for a team from east of the Mississippi River. It should be noted that California fuels the dreams of many softball programs and some of our local girls played for the Wolverines. Hats off to the ladies, and to Samantha Findlay, freshman with a Ted Williams swing. Great effort Lady Bruins, from fifth in conference to runner up. I'm looking forward to next year.
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