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Softball

🥎Winner Takes it All Today at Women's College World Series

June 10, 2021
Source: Oklahoma Softball/Twitter
Source: Oklahoma Softball/Twitter

How they got here: Both Florida State and Oklahoma made history as just the fourth and fifth teams in WCWS history to advance to the champ series after losing the first game of the tourney. Behind a stellar offensive and defensive night from freshman Kalei Harding, Florida State claimed Tuesday’s Game 1 with an 8–4 win.

  • But Oklahoma evened things up with a 6–2 win yesterday, with who else but Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo hitting a record-breaking two-run homer in the sixth inning. Clutch.

The big picture: As cliché as it sounds, we’re all winners no matter who hoists the trophy tonight. This year’s WCWS broke rating records, James Madison University (JMU: a mid-major) captured our hearts with a Cinderella run to the semifinals and a thriving pro softball league keeps new stars shining. Just further proof that if you build it, they will come

🥎Softball: Women's College World Series Off to a Strong Start

June 08, 2021
Source: JMU Softball/Twitter
Source: JMU Softball/Twitter

The schedule: The best-of-three championship series was supposed to start tonight, but mother nature had other plans. After a weather delay on Saturday forced one game to start just before midnight, the NCAA learned their lesson and pushed yesterday’s weather-delayed semifinals to tonight, and the first game of the champ series to tomorrow.

  • Reminder: the WCWS is double-elimination, so with No. 1 Oklahoma’s win over James Madison University (JMU) and No. 10 Florida State’s win over No. 3 Alabama yesterday, today’s semis mean win or go home for all. Here’s the full picture.

The teams: Oklahoma and JMU will square off for the third time at the WCWS at 4 p.m. ET today. Unseeded JMU stunned the top-seeded favorites in the tourney’s opening game but Oklahoma bounced back with a 6–3 win yesterday to force today’s elimination game. It’s David vs. Goliath, and it’s anyone’s ball game.

  • In the late game, Florida State will need their bats to come alive as they take on ’Bama and ace pitcher Montana Fouts, who tossed the fifth perfect game in WCWS history on Friday. How’s that for a 21st birthday present?   
🏀🥎

Los Angeles: Clippers Hope to Shine in Round 2 of NBA Playoffs

June 08, 2021
Source: Ashley Landis/AP
Source: Ashley Landis/AP

 🏀NBA: While the Lakers won’t defend their championship (still crying), the Clippers are keeping the City of Champions’ title hopes alive, defeating the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 yesterday to advance to the second round. 

  • Kawhi Leonard almost collected a triple-double, while Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris came up big late in the fourth quarter. We like it like that.
  • The Clips face the Jazz in Utah for Game 1 tomorrow at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. No rest for the wicked.

🏀Sparks: Although both Ogwumike (pronounced oh-gwoo-MIH-kay) sisters are out with injuries, Erica Wheeler stepped up with a season-high 22 points in the Sparks’ 68–63 victory over the Chicago Sky on Saturday. LA’s defense was stellar as well, with Amanda Zahui B.’s (pronounced ZAH-wee BEE) four blocks and Nia Coffey’s timely swat down the stretch. Bam.

🎓🥎UCLA: Despite an early, three-run homer from pitcher Rachel Garcia, the defending champs UCLA were eliminated from the WCWS by No. 1 Oklahoma on Saturday. Not how we wanted to see one of the all-time greats end her collegiate career.

  • Garcia and utility player Bubba Nickles will trade in the blue and gold for the red, white and blue when they join Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics next month.

⚾️MLB: Both the Dodgers and Angels lost yesterday, with the Dodgers dropping a three-game series to the Atlanta Braves and the Halos splitting a four-game series with the Seattle Mariners. You win some, you lose some. 

🏀🥎

Washington D.C.: Mystics Throw Up Big Team Effort

June 08, 2021
Source: Domenic Allegra/The Next
Source: Domenic Allegra/The Next

 🎓🥎Softball: Unseeded JMU softball hope to take their historic WCWS run into the championship series with a win in today’s elimination game against No. 1 Oklahoma at 4 p.m. ET. The Dukes already upset the Sooners once, what’s one more? Time to smash more homers and lay it all out there. 

🏀Mystics: Although the Mystics lost a close 96–93 battle to the Las Vegas Aces on Saturday, there were some positive takeaways: Myisha Hines-Allen delivered a double-double and Ariel Atkins chipped in a career-high 29 points. Natasha Cloud — who dished out 11 assists — said it best: “We're a team that once this clicks, we're a scary f---ing team...” Energy.

  • The Minnesota Lynx come to town tomorrow, although former Mystic Aerial Powers is out with a hamstring injury. Tip-off’s at 7 p.m. ET.

⚾️Nationals: The Nats dropped a three-game series to the Philadelphia Phillies with yesterday’s 12–6 loss, collapsing like the netting behind home plate. Womp.

⚽️Spirit: The Spirit sweated it out in a 1–1 draw with the Orlando Pride yesterday. They’ll be back in action on June 19th against the Chicago Red Stars.  

🥎Competition heating up at the Women's College World Series

June 03, 2021
Source: JMU Softball/Twitter
Source: JMU Softball/Twitter

 The set-up: After the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, postseason softball made its triumphant return last month when 64 teams began their hunt for a trip to the WCWS. Now, following two weekends of thrilling regional and super regional action, eight teams will battle for the national title in a double-elimination tournament beginning today at 12 p.m. ET.

  • And the fun doesn’t stop there. Following this weekend’s double-elimination play, two teams will compete in a best-of-three championship series beginning Monday. Check out the full bracket and tune in on ESPN. Women worth watching, baby.

Top teams: Led by future Olympians, Rachel Garcia and Bubba Nickles, defending champs No. 2 UCLA are looking for their record-extending 13th national title. Meanwhile, fresh off breakout performances from pitcher Odicci Alexander, the tourney’s Cinderella story James Madison University (JMU) will make their first-ever College World Series appearance.

And we can’t forget about No. 1 Oklahoma. This record-breaking squad boasts USA Softball Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo and NFCA Freshman of the Year Tiare Jennings.