Tide not satisfied
The Alabama coaches have warned the players: Don't be satisfied with the Crimson Tide's first ever appearance at the WCWS.
But how can you? How can you when the painting on the outfield grass and the name "Alabama" on the outfield fence and the whole thing sends chills up the players' spines?
"It's obviously gonna be a wide-eyed experience," Alabama junior Kelly Kretschman said. "I think our reality check is when we walked in the hotel and Washington was sittin' in the lobby just chillin'. We were like, "Oooo.' "
"We're just excited to be walking in the
Not getting old
With the exception of UCLA's suspension year in 1998, the Bruins' five-year seniors have played in the WCWS every year.
You'd think the whole thing might get old.
But you'd think wrong.
"Anytime you step on the field, especially in something like this, you've gotta
be excited," senior Julie Adams said. "If
you're not excited, something's wrong."
As good as UCLA is, the Bruins could be better. Two Olympians better.
Outfielder Christie Ambrosi and catcher Stacey Nuveman had college eligibility remaining but left the team this season to play for the U.S. Olympic team.
Ambrosi has surrendered her amateur status, opting to accept financial compensation and give up her final year of collegiate eligibility. Nuveman, on the other hand, is redshirting. She plans to return to UCLA next season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
Ambrosi and Nuveman, however, will be in Oklahoma City this week. The national team is coming to town to start training at Hall of Fame Stadium.
And Nuveman even plans to help with
UCLA's radio broadcast. She will do color
Arizona went 13-4 this year against the other seven World Series teams -- and the Wildcats played them all. Arizona went 1-4 vs. Washington, 2-0 vs. Southern Miss and DePaul, 1-0 vs. OU and Alabama, and 3-0 vs. California and UCLA.
"There shouldn't be any surprises," Arizona coach Mike Candrea said.
OU figures to have the home-crowd advantage in any game it plays in the World Series, but Washington coach Teresa Wilson doesn't begrudge the Sooners.
"It's great Oklahoma's in it," Wilson
said. "I think the crowds should be spectacular and it should be a really fun
venue to play in."
DePaul is back in the Women's College World Series. Which means delightful coach Eugene Lenti is back, too.
"It took me 18 years to get here the first
time, and I thought it would take me 18
years to get here a second time," Lenti
said. "Obviously, we are here and I am not
quite sure how it happened. But we played
some great ball at Michigan."
Arizona senior Katie Swan was asked to explain her team's upset loss to DePaul last year, which eliminated the Wildcats from the World Series.
"You win some, you lose some, sometimes it rains," Swan said. "You learn
from it. What can you do? Sometimes you
hit three line drives and go 0-for-3. Sometimes you go 3-for-3 with three bloops.
Take it as it comes."
Tickets and parking
Single-session tickets go on sale today at
Hall of Fame Stadium. Prices are $8.50, $7,
$6 and, for children and senior citizens, $4.
Parking is limited at the Amateur Softball
Association, but a shuttle will run from
Remington Park, which is less than a
quarter-mile west of the stadium.
Southern Mississippi junior Melanie McMains graduated from Claremore Sequoyah High School. She's a versatile player who has started 19 times for Southern Miss and can play any position other than pitcher and catcher.
McMains, who is hitting .220, played two
years at Nicholls State, where she was recruited by current Southern Miss coach Lu
Cold to hot
Last week, DePaul played in a regional
at Ann Arbor, Mich., and the wind chill
dipped to 26 degrees during one of its
games. The Blue Demons arrived in Oklahoma on Tuesday and were greeted by a
record-breaking heat wave that reached