Sunday, June 04, 2006
Weekend Highs and Lows
It was a weekend jam-packed with sports--well sports I am interested in anyway: softball, tennis, and women's golf. It was especially difficult this afternoon trying to channel switch between the three when they overlapped.
The saddest moment of the weekend was Amelie Mauresmo's three-set loss to Vaidisova. Though Mauresmo was my sentimental favorite to win the French Open, I was not that surprised that she lost and to an up-and-coming teen. Didn't she lose to an -ova last year too? I just didn't see her making quick enough work of her early round opponents to carry her into the second week with enough mental and physical confidence. I don't know is going to show up at Wimbledon (Serena W. is out but Davenport?) but I think she will go farther there.
The high of the weekend has to be Northwestern's amazing unbeaten streak at the WCWS. They took on #1 seed UCLA this afternoon who, coming out of the losers' bracket, had to win this game. NU held a 1-0 lead for much of the game and going into the 7th when UCLA in their last at-bat scored the tying run off a pinch-hit by Kristin Dedmon. But NU, who easily could have had a let down and just decided to re-group for the evening game because they were not facing elimination, came back strong and fast. Williams and Cooper hit back-to-back home runs and pitcher Eileen Canney held her ground in the last half inning to pull off the victory.
And in the not-so-bad category was Annika Sorenstam's second place (tied with 2 others) finish at the ShopRite Classic. Annika had an amazing (or so I heard because I was busy watching the NU-UCLA excitement) 40-foot eagle putt on 18. But I love Annika because she's really humble in victory and defeat and I think she handles the inane questions the media asks expertly. Case in point:
Q: You seemed very confident yesterday when we talked to you, so is it a little disappointing to come up short today?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, sometimes when they play well, there is not much you can do. For me to shoot 4-under, that is a good score. It was not enough today. I needed another three to tie and that is a stretch, so like I said when somebody plays well you just have to congratulate them. One or two better would have been great, but it just did not happen.
Note the stupid question; of course it is disappointing to lose after you have been leading or near the top of the field throughout. But note Sorenstam's credit to those who played better.
And on a final note: it looks like Tennessee is about to be knocked out of the WCWS by Arizona who got beat by the Lady Vols this afternoon. But really what do you expect from a team that explicitly invokes its femininity? 'Cause everyone knows "ladies" can't throw (or hit or run).