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Kentucky softball: win or go home

(Chet White/UK Athletics)

I know many of you reading this probably aren’t interested in baseball, much less the women’s adaptation of the game. There’s a stigma that often surrounds the ladies variety of any sport, and that’s especially true when it comes to “second-tier” sports or below. But in the words of John Lennon, I encourage you to “give softball a chance.”

The ladies lost a heartbreaker last night to Michigan in the bottom of the 7th in the first round of the NCAA regionals. The Cats came back and took the lead in the top half after trailing the entire game, and the momentum was clearly on the Cats side heading to the final frame. Chanda Bell pitched an incredible game against some Michigan hitters who can flat-out knock the cover off the ball. The wheels fell off the in bottom of the 7th, though, and the Wolverines advanced to play Louisville in the winners bracket of the region.

Softball is an interesting game, and plays so much differently than baseball. Believe it or not, their game plays faster with shorter fences and bases. And the pitches are almost whiffleball-like with nasty breaking balls and off-speed pitches where the bottom compactly falls out. Softball is modeled after baseball, and many of the principles are the same, but the game plays so much differently.

If you haven’t watched a high-level division I college softball game before, now is your chance. It’s win or go home for Kentucky, and their backs are against the wall. They must beat Valparaiso today at 5 o’clock on ESPN, come back to beat the loser of the Michigan-Louisville game at 8 o’clock, then beat the winner of that game twice on Sunday to advance to the Super Regional.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

17 Comments for Kentucky softball: win or go home

  1. Old Henry Man
    4:16 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    UK should beat Valpo and then set up a game with UofL or a rematch with Michigan.
    Alot of bad luck yesterday

  2. catlover
    4:30 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    UK should have won easily, but the one bad defensive fault costs you a game.

  3. BsbCoach
    4:49 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    Hammer, please don’t refer to baseball as a “second-ter” sport, and we won’t refer to you as a third-tier writer. Thanks.

  4. BPsycho
    5:10 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    Thank you God for blessing me another day of life to witness thy glorious creation, the Hidez Horse Compression Suit.

  5. Stuart Hammer
    5:17 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    3 – I’m the biggest baseball and softball fan you’ll find, why do you think I write about it all the time? But the fact of the matter it is a second-tier sport. Football and basketball are the money makers and the first-tier sports. Everything else falls below. It’s just terminology. Enjoy the game.

  6. uklaw95
    6:27 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    Stuart, you are not the biggest so9ftball fan. The person watching to the left of home plate is.

  7. Stuart Hammer
    6:51 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    6 – Haha, I’ve been cracking up. He hasn’t moved a muscle!

  8. Ridge Runner
    7:15 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    5th inning = NOT our best defensive effort of the year. Oh & the fat guy to the left moved .003 inches.

  9. Ridge Runner
    7:16 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    Disregard my comment on .003 inches. I think he just passed gas.

  10. Greg
    7:53 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    Too close with a terrible defensive one inning in the 5th.

  11. Greg
    7:56 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    Us versus the dirty birds.

  12. uklaw95
    8:54 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    Bunt was stupid. Down by three in first inning (and your starter is wasted with over 50 pitches), your leadoff batter gets a walk on 4 balls, and you have one of your best hitters bunt? Stupid.

  13. Ridge Runner
    9:13 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    12 I agree. Further, as seen in a few games this season…I don’t get the reliance on the bunt in softball (generally) anyway.

    When scoring is typically higher than say baseball runs are normally easier to come by especially early on in the game without sacrificing an out or one of your best hitters to do so.

  14. Randy
    9:18 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    12 and 13 so true. This game is pissing me off.

  15. uklaw95
    9:49 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    This girl can’t hit the strike zone and we are giving her a no-no. Absolutely no patience for our hitters. And what the hell is this run up attempt at a hit? Terribly managed game.

  16. uklaw95
    10:16 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    So man on 2nd and no outs, down by 1, and you DON’T bunt??? Is she using a magic 8 ball to make decisions?

  17. Win or
    10:44 pm May 19, 2012 Permalink

    Go home. UL 3 UK 2