ASU Women's Softball Team Begins Quest For NCAA Crown Today

The top-ranked Arizona State women's softball team takes the field this afternoon against the Oklahoma Sooners in a first-round game at the NCAA World Series in Oklahoma City.

The 4 p.m. game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 (Channel 32). It should be a tight low-scoring affair that comes down to a bad pitch or two that gets taken out of the yard.

The Sun Devils come in with a sparkling record of 55-6, led by freshman ace pitcher Dallas Escobedo, a product of Phoenix St. Mary's High School. Escobedo uses a nasty rise-ball and off-speed stuff to strike out about ten batters a game, which makes things that much easier for her defense.

Oklahoma is good, and playing in its home state sure won't hurt its chances.

We saw them dismantle the once (and probably future)-powerful Arizona Wildcats down in Tucson last weekend to win the Super Regional and a berth back home in Oklahoma City.

The Sooners' southpaw pitcher, Keilani Ricketts, is one of the nation's best, and she also hits the crap out of the ball. Last weekend against Arizona, Ricketts hit two bombs that may still be airborne.

We saw both teams (ASU and OU) last weekend, and it looks like this to us: ASU is stronger offensively, and both teams look about the same defensively. The pitching is equally strong.

In other words, a good one is probably in store. We'll try to sneak a peek at it as our workday heads down the homestretch, or maybe flat-out sneak away to watch at home (as we continue with our other duties, natch).

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin