In the battle of purple teams, Washington had the last word. On Thursday, after Northwestern beat Arizona State, somebody in the Wildcats...
OKLAHOMA CITY — In the battle of purple teams, Washington had the last word.
On Thursday, after Northwestern beat Arizona State, somebody in the Wildcats contingent generated T-shirts that had “Purpler” on it, a reference to its hoped-for superiority over Washington.
On Friday night, the Huskies answered back, verbally and on the field, winning 9-0.
“It was our first cheer, maybe,” said pitcher Danielle Lawrie, who said the chant had Washington’s own manufactured word in it — “Purplest.”
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“We had three hours,” pointed our Lawrie, referring to the pregame rain delay.
“It’s what teams do to get in each others’ heads,” said leadoff hitter Ashley Charters. “You’ve got to brush it off. But it fueled our fire a little bit.”
The big picture: In a balanced field, Washington — seeded sixth entering the tournament — looks like it has a chance to win it — or at least make the best-of-three championship series.
Next for UW: Survivor of game between DePaul-Arizona State winner and Tennessee-Arizona loser, 10 a.m. Sunday.
Today’s games: DePaul-Arizona State, 9 a.m.; Texas A&M-Baylor, 11 a.m.; DePaul-Arizona State winner vs. Tennessee-Arizona loser, 4 p.m.; Texas A&M-Baylor winner vs. Northwestern, 6 p.m.
Myles Brand, NCAA president, staged a pregame news conference. He said it was his first appearance at a Women’s College World Series.
“I go to a few national championships each year, and this is my year to go to the softball championship,” said Brand. “I think I’m the first NCAA president to go to one.”
Responding to Florida president Bernie Machen’s recent push for a Division I-A football playoff game, Brand said, “I think over the next year or two, we’re going to see some conversation.
“Where that will lead is not clear. But I don’t see any groundswell to do anything differently.”
• The game was hardly a work of art, as the teams combined for 12 walks, second most in WCWS history — and the record 13 walks came in a 12-inning game.
• There were 235 pitches thrown in the five-inning game, when 140 might be figured over five innings, at an average of 14 per half-inning.