The WCWS is Deserving of More Viewers

The Florida softball team celebrates winning the 2015 WCWS after defeating Michigan 4-1 (Matt Stamey/Staff photographer)

The WCWS all around excitement is too undervalued, and that needs to change.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding college softball after officials of the sport have decided to ban the use of props in the dugouts taking effect during this year’s postseason, according to the report. This is a great rule for college softball and just softball in general, really. Softball is a beautiful game. It does not need any sort of unnecessary, attention-grabbing antics to spark more interest in the sport. What it needs is people to understand how great and entertaining of a sport it actually is. As the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) is almost underway, hopefully this will shine some light on which college softball has been beckoning for a long while.

Seed Sack

I, like many people, thought softball was boring. The claim of softball being just as hard and entertaining to watch as baseball that many players of the sport professed was amusing to me. That was before I started watching the sport. My high school Alma mater had a very good, well-rounded softball team — not to mention an incredibly good looking catcher — that drew me out to watch a few games early on during my high school tenure. What started out as a ploy to attract the attention of the catcher that I had been crushing on, quickly spiraled into a feeling of belonging on the team. One of my best friends had a sister on the squad, and that allowed me to have a ride to any game that I wanted to go to, and we would do everything we could to get to all of them. After nearly three years of missing only a handful of Oklahoma high school softball games, I have grown to love the sport. Last summer, the previously mentioned catcher (yes, I finally caught her eye) and I attended game one of the WCWS featuring perennial powerhouses Michigan and Florida. The atmosphere at the world renown ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City was anything but calm, and it lasted throughout the entire game. As the catcher and I are planning on making a trip to this year’s WCWS, we are in the beginning stages of making this an annual tradition. The atmosphere is just that amazing.

Saturday, May 21, 2016. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Nicole Pendley (1) crosses home to celebrate with her teammates after striking a second inning grand slam. Saturday, May 21, 2016. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

I am lucky enough to attend a college that is also a perennial power in many sports, but especially softball. The University of Oklahoma’s softball program has won an extremely impressive twenty five straight games so far during the 2016 season. Ranked #3 in the country, they are primed for a deep run into the WCWS. I — perhaps a little biased — put that in there for the ones reading this looking for a team to potentially root for. This time of the year in the world of college softball is very exciting. I urge you to catch a few games, as the Super Regionals are on the cusp of starting. These girls are exceptional at what they do and can do some amazing things on the field. The sport undeservedly gets far less publicity than it should. Something that may spark the interest of some Sunday Night Baseball fans is the fact that Jessica Mendoza will be commentating many of the top-tier games. Not only that, but the former Olympic gold medalist will be in her own element calling softball games, and her craft is impressive.