It was winner’s Friday at the WCWS. First up was Washington vs. Oregon. The two powerhouse Pac-12 rivals put Huskies’ phenom freshman Gabbie Plain going up against Oregon’s ace Megan Kleist. The game remained scoreless through 4-innings until in the 5th when Kleist run into problems and freshman pitcher Miranda Elis was brought into to relieve her. When all was said and done the Huskies had taken a 4-0 lead in the game. In the sixth inning Washington added two more runs to take a 6-0 lead. Oregon made a small rally in the top of the 7th inning but fell short losing the game by a final score of 6-2.
In the second game of the day Florida vs. UCLA once again it was set up as a pitching duel with Florida’s Kelly Barnhill going up against UCLA’s Rachel Garcia. Florida got to Garcia early scoring one run in both the 1st & 2nd innings and 2 more in the third to take a 4-0 lead. But everyone knows that UCLA has been a team that knows how to rally back this year and that’s just what they done scoring 5 runs in their part of the 5th inning. The team exchanged runs in the 6th to bring the final score to 6-5 and a win for UCLA.
I’m not taking anything away from UCLA they are a really good team and deserve to be where they are but the home plate umpire last night made several bad calls that probably cost Florida the game. Besides giving UCLA a very liberal strike zone the main blown call was in the 5th inning when with bases loaded Florida shortstop Sophia Reynoso caught a foul ball down the third base line for the second out of the inning and then made a perfect throw to catcher Janell Wheaton who tagged out the UCLA runner which would have been out three. Instead though the home plate umpire called her safe and the inning continued on with Barnhill giving up a three-run homer to the next batter and giving the Bruins the game lead. I know that instant replay is a controversial thing but it sure would have been nice in this important of a game. And the TV instant replay clearly shown it was a blown call. Even all three of the game announcers acknowledged that it was the wrong call.
I would suggest that replay be used in all playoff games due to the fact that they have many different camera angles to see the play involved. Limit it to just one coaches reply challenge a game that way you don’t get bogged down in endless game delays. I know that the softball gods want to speed up the game but at what cost? Sometimes you need to slow things down and make sure that things are as fair as you can make them.