Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Softball is hardball

I've been watching a little bit of the Womens College Fastpitch Softball World Series this week and its been pretty interesting actually. What is truly amazing has been the pitchers. I guess I've been spoiled, because most of the games I've caught have been Tennessee Lady Vols games and Monica Abbott has been on the mound.

She has been truly dominant and tonight I watched her crush ASU - completing another shutout to have a 0.00 through her World Series games. That intrigued me, along with her 17 strikeouts the game before, so I thought I'd look into her.

Her reccord, as it stands now, is 50-3. That is ridiculous. That's two complete seasons in MLB essentially. Two complete Cy Young seasons. Sure it's college. Sure it's underhand. Sure it's a seven inning game. But come on. That is impressive as hell. She has been truly dominant, being recognized as the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the year. And even though she pitches underhand, she can throw above 70 mph. And seven innings is a lot more than men's college ball or the minors considering she pitches the WHOLE game. Not many pros get beyond five or six innings, and they have about a weeks rest. Abbott has allowed zero runs in 28 innings (four straight games). It's no wonder she's called the female Randy Johnson.

At 6-3, the Tennessee lefty shackled ASU's potent offense, shutting them out for the first of a best of three, final series. The announcers mentioned that fastpitch softball is one of the fastest growing (participation and spectator) sports in America, and I can see why.

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