Trojans, Tide on the Road to Omaha’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Alright sportsfans it’s my favorite time of year, the Kings and Queens of the diamonds have whittled their seasons down to only a handful of games.

The University of Alabama softball team has rallied for a berth into the Women’s College World Series for the second time in a row and the fourth time in seven years.

This year, however, the Lady Tide have a strong chance of moving past the first round because they don’t have to go toe-to-toe with the Lady Longhorns and phenom Cat Osterman in the first round.

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They get the Lady Wildcats of Northwestern, a Big 10 power that battled to three games with an upstart UMASS squad.

The Lady Tide earned a WCWS berth by knocking off a traditional softball power Stanford in two-straight games. The Lady Tide did something that not many teams are able to do.

They were able to dethrone a PAC-10 softball team.

While the softball team already has their ticket punched and are on the ground in the &8220;Boomer-Sooner State,&8221; the Crimson Tide baseball team, despite being put out of the SEC baseball tournament, was given one of eight National No.1 seeds as their trek towards Omaha begins.

Also in the Tuscaloosa regional is an upstart program from the Wiregrass region.

That’s right sportsfans, my alma mater is playing in the big leagues now. For the first time in 10 years, Troy baseball and postseason are mentioned in the same sentence.

The Trojans took the Sunbelt and have posted a 45-14 mark including a win over the boys from the Capstone.

This regional should be an interesting one to watch, especially if the Tide and the Trojans match-up in the winner’s championship on Saturday night.

Not discrediting Jacksonville State or Southern Miss, the other two teams in the Tuscaloosa region, but they are going to have their hands full and work cut out for them if they want to make it out of the first day with a perfect record.

For the first time since 1975, no one on the road to Omaha has to make a stop in the Sunshine State.

That’s right sportsfans, the big three Florida schools &045; Florida State, University of Florida, and Miami (FL) &045;

didn’t earn a national No. 1 and as a result are traveling.

The Hurricanes have to blow into the Midwest as the No. 2 seed in the Nebraska regional. The Seminoles make the trip to Athens as one of four teams in the Georgia regional and the Gators, well the Gators will have to buy a ticket to watch a regional.

The squad that was predicted by many of the pundits and prognosticators at the season’s start to be this year’s national champion chose an alternate path that allowed them to have an early summer vacation and being the first in line for Gators football tickets.

The Road to Omaha has been set, but there are some teams with huge question marks hanging over their collective mascots.

Think about it, Mississippi State, had their athletic director not been the chair of the selection committee, would the &8216;Dogs have earned an invitation.

Think about it sportsfans, at one point this season, Billy and his Bulldogs were the No. 1 team in the nation, boasting the best ERA and team batting average in the country.

Then, after a trip to Tuscaloosa, things went down hill.

Their fall from grace was quicker than Ricky Williams’ separation from reality.

These guys were battling to make the conference tournament, and ultimately didn’t.

LSU got the eight seed and Tennessee and Miss State were stuck watching.

But, oh well. It is good to see that Tulane has made it into the field of 64.

The Green Wave, who finished last season with 50-plus wins, had to scrap, fight and scratch for a berth after Hurricane Katrina decided to enroll itself in Tulane’s New Orleans campus, depositing over 10,000 students to campus in a multitude of states.

All baseball regionals start Friday and will play through Sunday. Women’s College World Series starts on Thursday with Arizona State and Oregon State teeing things up at noon.

The Lady Tide and the Lady Wildcats will meet at 6 p.m.

ESPN2 will be carrying the WCWS.

Griffin Pritchard is the Sports Editor of the Selma Times-Journal and writes a weekly column appearing every Wednesday. He can be reached by phone at 334-875-2110 or via email at