July2013

They Simply Love to Play the Game

July 2, 2013

Oklahoma City, OK


 

In the early years of the Women’s College World Series there would generally be two top-level teams, four in the middle and two also- rans. Not anymore. All eight teams are excellent and in the case of Oklahoma outstanding. But parity has arrived for college softball and means only the competition getting better and the crowds at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium increasing. If there had been an extra session in 2013, the attendance would have reached almost 79,000, which was predicted.

With the three phase renovation planned, the environment at the ASA Hall of Fame will only get better and better, and it will be better for the fand as well as the players. The bottom line is the players give the fan want their want to see—all-out effort, dedication and commitment to playing major college softball. The 15-inning game this year between Nebraska  and Florida  took five hours and 20 minutes, but it was an nerve wrecking game for the players as well as the fans. Both teams showed will, determination and heart in determining a winner. It was the first time that the two schools had met in the WCWS and only the third time in history. Florida now holds a 2-1 advantage. A total of 534 pitches were thrown in the game by the four pitchers with Nebraska’s Tatum Edwards hurling  185.  It was the longest game in the WCWs since Oklahoma  State defeated Cal State Northridge, 3-2 in 15 inning in 1994.  It was a game both teams could be proud of because the players’ effort on both teams was superb. This was big-time college softball at its best and the fans loved it. Florida coach Tim Walton said,”Winning a game at the World Series for any team is huge, but they showed me a ton today, and I’am really proud of the way we played today.”

In a world where pro players never have enough money and are ready to renogetiate another contract after one or two years, it is a blessing and a joy to see athletes excel at a sport that they love to play. It’s as simple as that, but evidently more and more people are getting the message as the attendance continues to increase and is expected to eventually top 100,000 people.  One father who came to the WCWS couldn’t get a ticket, even standing room only, so we went on line and purchased a standing room only ticket for $50.00. The other standing room only tickets were only $20.00. The NCAA World Series is geared toward the family unlike many pro events which price themselves out of the market although they say they are for the family. But the problem is how many times can a family of four or more go to the event. One father said he doesn’t to a certain NBA team because the prices are too high and he has three daughters and a wife, so he said he isn’t going and the tickets continue to increase every year. Where it is going to stop no one knows, but the NCAA World Series is the best ticket in town and will continue to be in the years ahead.

Bill Plummer

 

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