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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

Softball

Cincinnati Reds tweet support for bat-flipping OSU star Samantha Show

Samantha Show bat flip

The Cincinnati Reds sent a cool tweet of support to Oklahoma State softball star Samantha Show.

Show, who is the Cowgirls’ ace and best hitter, received attention for her bat flip after a home run in a 2-1 win over Florida at the Women’s College World Series on Thursday night.

The Reds learned of her bat flip and reached out with a tweet of support:

The tweet showed a photo of Derek Dietrich, who has been at the center of controversies this season for bat flipping and admiring his home runs.

Show appreciated the support from the Reds:

A big reason why Show transferred from Texas A&M to Oklahoma State was because she wanted to feel like she could be herself. Oklahoma State has more than allowed her to feel that way by embracing her bat-flipping side, and it’s led to Show slugging a school-record 20 home runs this season.

Watch: OSU star Samantha Show spikes bat after blasting home run

Samantha Show bat flip

Samantha Show may be introducing the baseball and softball worlds to a whole new home run celebration.

The Oklahoma State Cowgirls star did it all in her team’s 2-1 win over Florida in the Women’s College World Series on Thursday. She pitched a complete game and hit two home runs to beat the Gators in their opening round win.

After her second home run, which gave OSU a 2-1 lead in the sixth, she celebrated by spiking her bat:

That was pretty epic.

Show’s two solo home runs were Oklahoma State’s only two hits of the game off Gators ace Kelly Barnhill. The rest of the team went 0-for-20. Adding another element of drama, Barnhill had said before the game that she didn’t like it when hitters celebrate with bat flips.

On top of being Oklahoma State’s ace, Show is also their best hitter and has 20 home runs on the season. The Texas A&M transfer is carrying the Cowgirls this season.

Texas pitcher Miranda Elish ‘doing well’ after being hit in face

Texas logo

Texas Longhorns pitcher Miranda Elish is “doing well” despite being hit in the face by a thrown ball on Friday night.

Elish was in the circle for Texas’ second game against Alabama in their super regional. She was pitching with her Longhorns down 3-0 to the Tide in the top of the second with a runner on first. Bama leadoff hitter Elissa Brown tried to drop a bunt but it was ruled she had stepped out of the box. Texas catcher Mary Iakopo didn’t realize the ruling, so she fielded the ball and fired it towards second for the force out. Unfortunately her throw hit Elish in the face.

The video is below but contains footage of Elish being hit.

The stadium was immediately silenced and Elish received attention after being hit and dropping to the ground. She was taken away in an ambulance to the hospital as a precaution.

Texas later shared that Elish was doing well.

Texas coach Mike White added during an in-game interview that Elish was “hurting a little bit but in good spirits.”

Elish has been the star of the Texas pitching staff this season. The junior transfer from Oregon entered the game 18-10 with a 1.72 ERA, 225 strikeouts in 183.2 innings, and 11 shutouts. She pitched 30 innings in their regional last weekend, 29 of which came in a span of two days when she pitched complete games in both ends of a double header. She allowed just four runs in five games. She is also batting .315 with 27 RBIs and has been one of the team’s best hitters.

Even though Elish got hurt, the rest of the Longhorns stepped up. Iakopo, who threw the ball that hit Elish, slugged a 3-run home run to get Texas back in the game. They got pitching from Brooke Bolinger and Shea O’Leary to limit the Tide and won 7-5 to force a third and deciding game. The winner of Saturday’s contest goes to the Women’s College World Series.

Auburn pitcher hit in face by line drive has concussion

Auburn Tigers logo

There is positive news regarding the injury status of Auburn pitcher Ashlee Swindle.

Swindle left Friday night’s Tigers NCAA Tournament game against Colorado State after being hit in the face by a line drive in the fifth inning. She went down instantly and was carted off the field at Hillenbrand Stadium in Tucson, where the team is participating in their regional.

Swindle was taken to the Banner University Medical Center on Friday night and then released to the team doctors, according to 247 Sports.

On Saturday morning, Auburn said Swindle had been diagnosed with a concussion.

“I just want to thank my Auburn family and the Arizona doctors for checking up on me and taking care of me,” Swindle said in a statement. “I am truly blessed to be a part of such a great family. War Eagle!”

She also tweeted the following message:

The mother of a teammate said on Facebook that Swindle had passed all her eye exams as of Saturday morning and was taking pain medication. Swindle also apparently said she wants to return to action in five days, which would only happen if Auburn wins their regional to advance to the super regional.

Swindle actually was credited with the win on Friday night, making her 11-8 on the season.

Auburn pitcher Ashlee Swindle hit in face by line drive

Auburn Tigers logo

Auburn pitcher Ashlee Swindle left Friday night’s NCAA Tournament game after being hit in the head by a line drive.

The Tigers were facing Colorado State in their first game of the Tuscon Regional and leading 9-5 in the fifth. Swindle was facing Ashley Ruiz with one out and one on, and Ruiz lined a comebacker at Swindle. Swindle was unable to get a glove up and got hit in the head by the ball. She went down instantly.

The stadium went silent and Swindle was carted off the field after being hit.

Chardonnay Harris, who started the game for the Tigers, re-entered the circle for Auburn after Swindle was hit. Swindle, the team’s leader in innings pitched, entered the game 10-8 with a 3.04 ERA on the season.

The incident recalled memories of the traumatizing situation Team USA pitcher Paige Lowary went through in 2016 when she was hit in the face by a line drive. Lowary later ended up wearing a mask while pitching, which is something some softball pitchers do for protection considering the circle is only 43 feet away from the plate.

Watch: FSU’s Jessie Warren makes unreal catch for double play in WCWS

Jessie Warren catch

Florida State’s Jessie Warren made a spectacular play in the finals of the Women’s College World Series on Monday night to help preserve a victory.

Warren’s Seminoles were leading 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh against the Washington Huskies, who got their leadoff batter aboard with a single. Washington’s Trysten Melhart then attempted to sac bunt Taryn Atlee over to second, but she popped up her bunt and Warren came out of nowhere to make a diving catch.

Not only did Warren make the catch, but she also had the presence and ability to throw out Atlee at first for the double play.

How big was that play? Had Warren not made the catch, Melhart probably would have reached base and Atlee might have been able to get to third. The next batter, Kelly Burdick, singled, which could have driven in a run to tie the game. Instead, Seminoles pitcher Meghan King, who has not allowed an earned run at the WCWS, was able to get the final out for the 1-0 win and strand a runner at first.

In addition to being great on defense, Warren is the Seminoles’ best hitter. She went 2-for-4 in the game and is now batting .399 with 20 homers on the season.

The Seminoles now lead the best of three series 1-0.

Big Ten softball tournament uses helicopter to dry field during delay

Big Ten softball chopper delay

Friday’s Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game between Minnesota and Wisconsin experienced a chopper delay mid-game — and we’re totally serious.

The game was being played in Madison, Wisc. under rainy conditions. Midway through the game, a helicopter was called in to help dry out the field. Those watching the game on Big Ten Network could see a chopper flying around the infield, dropping a substance around the dirt that would help dry out the infield to make it playable.

Minnesota was leading 4-0 in 4th inning at the time of the delay. The Gophers grew their lead after the game resumed. There was urgency to dry out the field because they were trying to play all four quarterfinal games on Friday. They were way behind schedule, as Minnesota-Wisconsin was the first of the four games.

Minnesota is the No. 2 seed for the tournament and a lock to make the NCAA Tournament as the No. 28 team in the RPI. Wisconsin is the No. 7 seed and ranked No. 46 in the RPI, which makes them a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament. At least this year Minnesota hopefully won’t be screwed the way they were last year.

Blake Griffin shouts out Oklahoma softball team after record win

Shay Knight Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s softball prevailed over the Florida Gators in the first game of the WCWS championship series on Monday, winning 7-5 in a record 17 innings.

The 17-inning game was the longest ever for a WCWS championship series game by a mile. In response to seeing his Sooners win in extra, extra innings, former Oklahoma basketball star Blake Griffin tweeted the following:

The difference in the game was Shay Knighten’s 3-run home run in the top of the 17th off Florida’s Kelly Barnhill:

The Gators managed a run in the bottom half on an RBI sac fly by Amanda Lorenz, but Kayli Kvistad struck out to end the game.

The game truly was incredible. Florida was down to its last strike twice before coming back. They were down 2-1 in the bottom of the 7th with a runner on and Sophia Reynoso up with a full count. With Oklahoma’s defense playing very deep to prevent a ball over their heads, she blooped a short fly ball into left center that tied the game.

Then in the 12th, Oklahoma’s Fale Aviu hit a 2-run home run to put the Sooners up 4-2. In the bottom half, Lorenz drove a 2-out, 2-run double to the left-center gap with a 1-2 count that tied the game and kept it going. But Knighten’s 3-run blast in the 17th was too much for the Gators to overcome.

Both teams used two pitchers in the game. The Sooner surprisingly chose Paige Lowary to start over Paige Parker, even though Parker is the team’s ace and won last year’s championship for them. Lowary started, was relieved by Parker, but re-entered in relief and got the win. Barnhill started for Florida, was relieved by Delanie Gourley, and re-entered, eventually taking the loss.

Barnhill surrendered five earned runs and two home runs in the game. She entered the game with only nine earned runs and three homers allowed in 184.2 innings all season, so the powerful Sooners nearly doubled those totals in just one game.

The second game of the best-of-3 series will be at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.

Nigel Williams-Goss’ girlfriend Kirstyn Thomas is Washington softball player

Nigel Williams-Goss Kirstyn Thomas

One of the stars of Washington’s softball team has been Kirstyn Thomas, who also has another sports tie.

Thomas, who has been a key contributor during the Huskies’ Women’s College World Series run, is the girlfriend of Gonzaga star Nigel Williams-Goss:

Scooped her up like a ground ball

A post shared by Nigel Williams-Goss (@nigelwg5) on

The two have been together for nearly three years. Williams-Goss attended Washington from 2013-2015 before transferring to Gonzaga. Thomas was a freshman during Williams-Goss’ sophomore season at Washington.

Williams-Goss posted this photo of them together on his Instagram page back in 2015: (more…)

Lisa Fernandez suspended two games for bumping umpire at WCWS

Lisa Fernandez

Lisa Fernandez has been suspended two games for making contact with an umpire during UCLA’s win over Texas A&M at the Women’s College World Series on Saturday.

Fernandez, one of the greatest softball players ever, is an assistant coach for her alma mater. Her Bruins were up 3-1 in the sixth when they ran themselves into a double-play to end the inning. Gabby Maurice tried to score from third but was thrown out at the plate, and she was injured on the tag as she tried to slide around A&M’s catcher.

That had Fernandez incensed. The assistant began yelling at the umps, leading to her ejection. Once she was tossed, she grew enraged and that’s when she bumped the ump.

To understand why Fernandez was so ticked off, you have to know the context for the whole situation. The Bruins lost their first game of the WCWS on Thursday to LSU, 2-1. The loss included two controversial plays at home. One was on a bang-bang play at the plate where the Bruins’ Rachel Garcia was called out to end the second. Had she been called safe, the game would have been tied at 1. Then in the 5th inning, UCLA threw out a runner at home for what would have been the second out of the inning, keeping the score at 1-1. Instead, the Bruins were called for obstruction at home, giving LSU the go-ahead run to make it 2-1.

Fernandez was still obviously upset about the controversial calls from two days earlier and was wondering why obstruction wasn’t called against A&M on the play Saturday. She also wanted to show her team that she has their back no matter what. The Bruins did win the game 8-2 and will continue to try fighting through the tournament.