Mitch's Sports: FSU Wins First NCAA Softball Title; Comebacks Power Playoff Wins For Hornets, Wolves

Jun 6, 2018

We'll start today with the NCAA women's softball championship and the first ever national title for the Florida State Seminoles.

The Seminoles beat Washington University 8-3 yesterday to cap off an amazing run to the title in which they survived six different elimination games, and if you want to see one of the best double plays ever, check out Jessie Warren's play in game one of the series, which FSU won 1-0. With nobody out and a runner on first in the top of the 7th, the Huskies bunted to move the runner over and it was a good one, just a little air underneath it but enough for 3rd baseman Warren to leap and make a full extension diving grab. The runner at first had taken off with the bunt and Warren scrambled to her feet and threw to first to double off the runner and thwart any Washington rally to tie the game, sealing that 1-0 win in game one, and putting the Seminoles in position to take game two and their first ever national title.

And there was high drama locally in softball playoff action yesterday as the Essex Hornets secured a chance at winning the state high school softball title for a second year in a row, but they needed an epic 7th inning comeback against Colchester to make it there.

Colchester scored twice in the top of the 7th to erase a 3-2 deficit and looked like they were poised to ruin the Hornet's undefeated season until Emily Harvey led off the bottom of the 7th with a game tying home run, and then, with two outs Sarah Knickerbocker hit a walk-off, run scoring double to give the Hornets a 5-4 win and send them to the championship game. They'll face the winner of today's contest between North Country and Mount Anthony, a game that game was postponed Tuesday due to rain.

It was a day for comebacks as the South Burlington Wolves also used a 7th inning rally to beat 8th seeded St. Johnsbury 5-4 to make it to the division one finals in boy's high school baseball. The decisive rally was started by Connor McGrath, who led off with a double and then the winning run was pushed across when Andrew Cunningham hit a sac fly to center for a 5-4 South Burlington victory and a dfate with Colchester in teh title game Saturday morning. The Lakers knocked out Brattleboro with a 12-5 win in Tuesday's other semifinal, setting up a compelling state final between the fourth seeded Wolves and third seeded Lakers at Centennial Field.

And let's give some love to Ultimate. Frisbee, that is. In Morrisville yesterday, the high school state champions were crowned. In the girls title game, the Montpelier Solons defeated the Lyndon Institute Vikings 15-2, and on the boy's side, make it back to back state titles for the Burlington Seahorses, who capped an undefeated regular season with a 15-3 victory, over Lyndon.

To the pros, and the Boston Red Sox got more bad news on the injury front, but also another win on the scoreboard.

Starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz landed on the disabled list yesterday, joining teammates Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia. Pomeranz started the year on the DL with forearm soreness and he was carrying an ERA just under seven when he finally did get into the rotation.

The Red Sox were hoping to give another lefty, Chris Sale, an extra day of rest as he's struggled a bit this season, giving up more homers than any other Red Sox pitcher, although he's still undoubtedly the ace of the staff. But with Pomeranz now unavailable that may not be in the cards unless someone like long reliever Hector Velazquez makes a sport start.

That's what knuckleballer Steven Wright did last night, keeping the Detroit Tigers off the scoreboard in a 6-0 Red Sox win. Wright went seven innings and gave up just two hits in his first start in more than a year. He got help on offense from J.D. Martinez, who blasted a two-run homer, his 20th of the season, and Xander Bogaerts, who led off the fifth with a solo blast for his ninth. Bogaerts also made a perfect throw home to nail a Tiger base runner in the first, collecting a great relay throw from Andrew Benintendi, a play that helped Wright settle down and keep the Tigers flummoxed with a mix of knuckleball offerings mixed in with some sneaky fastballs.

Meanwhile the NY Yankees kept pace with a 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. That's where rookie Miguel Andujar blasted his first career grand slam in the seventh off Seunghwan Oh, quickly erasing a 1-0 Toronto lead. Aaron Hicks added a three-run shot in the 8th and CC Sabathia pitched seven strong to get the win, his first in his last five starts, and the Yankees have now won six of their last seven.

No such luck for the NY Mets who have now lost eight of tgheir last ten and five in a row following a 2-1 loss to the last place Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field last night. Alex Cobb turned in his best performance for the O's since signing as a free agent in the off-season. The former Tampa Bay Ray gave up just one run and two hits over six innings, striking out seven and walking one.

And finally, all the buzz at the French Open tennis tournament is about Marco Cecchinato of Italy, toppling one of the world's best players in Novak Djokovic in four sets at Roland Garros yesterday. Cecchinato had never won a Grand Slam match until Roland Garros, when he advanced in an earlier round after dropping the first two sets, and only cracked the top 100 in world rankings this past November. Djokovic seemed to battling nagging injuries throughout the match, his neck and elbow bothering him, but it's still a major upset. Cecchinato makes it to the semi-finals now against Austria's Dominic Thiem.

In action later this morning will be the favorite to win it all now with Djokovic out, Rafael Nadal, a clay court specialist. He faces Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

 

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