Oklahoma 7, Florida 5 in 17 innings. In the NCAA Women’s College World Series Championship series.
You remember the game, I know you do. Drama upon drama throughout the game. As the innings piled up the pressure did, too. We got to see two great teams do battle for what seemed like hours because it was hours. And what we got to experience was one of the greatest games, between two great teams on the grandest stage our sport can provide.
Now it wasn’t the longest game in NCAA Championship history, that belongs too Texas A&M verso Cal Poly in 1984, Where Shawna Andaya helped her Aggies to a 1-0 win. It was a classic, old school, hard core win before ESPN featured college softball so unfortunately, it is not as well remembered as the Oklahoma win in 2017.
If you coach this game long enough you will play in some of these games. The marathon games are always hard to forget no matter the outcome. We had one when I was coaching at Tennessee Tech where we had a five hour battle with Eastern Illinois where we came out on the wrong side of the score but I’ll never forget the drama. And of course, it was the first game of a doubleheader, so we had to bounce back and win game two in a little more normal manner.
Now we play so many time-limit games with kids coming up through travel ball that they rarely get to play in these classics early in their career. Somehow that makes me sad for them but hopeful that whey will get to experience it at some point in their careers.
You never forget a marathon!