The Women’s College World Series is the biggest event in the world of collegiate softball. It is the crown jewel of the Division I season. Every year there are memories made, hearts broken and dreams come true.
This year we traveled to Oklahoma City with our two travel teams to participate in a tournament and to see some of the WCWS games while we were there.
The trip started off with a bang when several of our team members were able to go to the Thursday games and saw some great softball. There were were a couple upsets with Oklahoma State and Arizona beating higher-seeded opponents and we were off to the races, right?
Well as is often the case there is more to the story. This was meant to be a trip of playing games and also watching some great softball. Saturday morning our 10U team played two pool games in Shawnee and split with a hard fought walk off loss and a fairly convincing win. Our 18 Gold team, Atlanta Premier Stewart Gold, was scheduled to play two afternoon games in Chickasha, about 60 miles away from where the little kids were playing.
You know where this is going, don’t you? Of course, you do.
As we were driving we could see the clouds building, and the skies growing more threatening and then the bottom just dropped out. We were hit with a “Noah Build a Boat” thunderstorm where we were being bounced around the highway and the rain was coming down in buckets. When we got to the park it was clear that it had really poured down for a while.
So now the real fun started, No games today, update at 9 a.m. Then 9 a.m. rolls around and it’s no game until noon, then update at noon and eventually the tournament gets cancelled. Good news is our little kids had a great tournament and finished second, the bad news is the families of our big kids all spent a lot of money and time to make this trip and got to warm up once.
What’s the moral to the story? Mother Nature always wins but when you have teams from so far away in your tournament you need to do everything you can to get them some games. Now, we were only one of a handful of far away teams but that should have been considered and some accommodation made. One game would have been way better, two would have been twice as good. I understand that the original schedule was impossible but getting some games in was not.
What saved the day was the WCWS. Our players and families were able to attend games and see the best college players go head-to-head. They really enjoyed seeing the college kids play and, I think, for several of them have fueled their own dreams of playing there one day. I just wish they had gotten to play a game, this year.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.