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ESPN Announces Coverage of Women's College World Series Softball

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ESPN Announces Coverage of Women's College World Series Softball

ESPN will televise the 2014 Women's College World Series beginning Thursday, May 29, from Oklahoma City, Okla. to conclude its extensive coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Softball Championship. ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU will televise all eight teams throughout two, four-team division double-elimination bracket play (May 29 - June 1). The two teams to advance from bracket play will then meet in the WCWS Finals, a best-of-three series to air on ESPN and ESPN2 (June 2-4). All games are available on WatchESPN.



The Women's College World Series begins on Thursday, May 29, from ASA Hall of Fame Stadium - OGE Energy Field with opening matchups of bracket play. The first bracket features No.13 Baylor vs. No. 5 Florida (12 p.m. ET) and No. 8 Florida State vs. No. 1 Oregon (2:30 p.m.) on ESPN. The second bracket will see No. 14 Kentucky vs. No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (7 p.m.) and No. 7 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Alabama (9:30 p.m.) on ESPN2. Bracket play continues through the weekend with two games on Friday, May 30, (ESPN2), four games on Saturday, May 31, (ESPN and ESPN2) and up to four games on Sunday, June 1, (ESPN and ESPNU).



The Women's College World Series Finals start on Monday, June 2, with Game 1 at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. WCWS Finals Game 2 shifts to ESPN on Tuesday, June 3, at 8 p.m. A decisive WCWS Game 3 (if necessary) will be Wednesday, June 4, at 8 p.m. on ESPN. A complete television schedule is provided below. Networks are subject to change.



ESPN's road to the Women's College World Series began on March 23 with the first of 44 televised regular season games. Championship coverage began with Regional round coverage (May 16-18) from campus sites. For the eighth consecutive year, ESPN televised every game of the Super Regionals (May 22-25). The 2014 WCWS will be ESPN's 14th consecutive year airing every game from Oklahoma City, Okla.



ESPN's Women's College World Series Coverage Highlights



ESPN Commentators



Play-by-Play



· Beth Mowins (@BethMowins): Teams with Jessica Mendoza in bracket play, will call Women's College World Series Finals. WCWS veteran having joined ESPN in 1994 and also calls NCAA Championships in basketball, and volleyball.



· Pam Ward: Teams with Michele Smith in bracket play. WCWS veteran having joined ESPN in 1996 and also calls women's college basketball and WNBA.



Analysts



· Jessica Mendoza (@JessMendoza): Will call both bracket play and WCWS Finals. Four-time All-American at Stanford where she participated in the 2001 WCWS. Member of gold medal-winning team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and silver medal-winning team at 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.



· Michele Smith (@MicheleSmith32): Will call both bracket play and WCWS Finals. Member of goal medal-winning teams at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and eight-time Japan Pro League MVP.



Reporter



· Holly Rowe (@Sportsiren): Will work every game of the WCWS. Also serves as a reporter for College Football and men's college basketball and play-by-play in a variety of sports. Joined ESPN in 1998.



Studio Coverage



· Cheri Kempf (@CheriKempf): Will anchor ESPN's studio coverage throughout the WCWS. Kempf is a Hall of Famer and the current National Pro Fastpitch Commissioner.



Return of K-Zone



· ESPN will utilize the K-Zone technology throughout the Women's College World Series which will allow for fans to see precisely the location a pitch crosses the plate in relation to the strike zone.



Team Storylines



· No. 1 Oregon: Seeks its first national championship. The lone Pac-12 representative will try to win the conference's first national championship since 2011, when it had won six consecutive titles



· No. 2 Alabama: Looks to win its second national championship in the last three years



· No. 5 Florida: Has advanced to the WCWS Finals twice (2009,'11) but has yet to win a national championship



· No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette: Returns to the WCWS for the first time since 2008 and is the only team from a non-power conference. Has never won a national championship



· No. 7 Oklahoma: Could become the first team to win back-to-back national championships since Arizona in 2006-07



· No. 8 Florida State: Advances to WCWS for first time since 2004, seeks its first national championship



· No. 13 Baylor: Makes its third appearance at the WCWS and looks to make it to the WCWS Finals for first time



· No. 14 Kentucky: Is playing in the WCWS for the first time



Multiplatform Coverage



espnW.com is the online destination for Women's College World Series coverage.



· Five Burning Questions: Graham Hays offers his First Take on the WCWS field: http://es.pn/1opi04X



· Sizing up the Field: Hays provides a preview of each opening round matchup in bracket play: http://es.pn/Sc4HXG



· Molly Fichtner Feature: Molly Fichtner transferred from University of Texas at San Antonio to Alabama after she witnessed the Crimson Tide win the 2012 national championship. Now, two years later, the starting catcher has played a critical role in the Crimson Tide's success this season. Graham Hays documents Fichtner's college career, both on and off the field. To be posted Wednesday, May 28.



· Student-Athletes Perspective: Oregon's Janie Takeda and Florida State's Lacey Waldrop will blog about their experience throughout the WCWS. The two student-athletes, along with others, have been writing throughout the championship: http://es.pn/1nsoG2A



· Tourney Snapshots: Behind-the-scenes video and photos from teams and student athletes participating in the WCWS. Fans can submit their photos by tagging them on Instragram and Twitter with #WCWS: http://es.pn/1mykkDE



Social Media Integration



· @ESPNU and @espnW will provide news, game updates, photos and videos throughout the Women's College World Series. Fans can join the conversation by tagging their tweets #WCWS..



ESPN Images



· Images from ASA Hall of Fame Stadium - OGE Energy Field will be available via ESPN Images' social media pages: @ESPNImages and Instagram



ESPN Front Row



· Player to Broadcaster: Kayla Braud, a 2012 national champion, became an ESPN analyst shortly after graduating from Alabama. She talks about the transition from the playing field to the booth: http://bit.ly/QNIwWJ



· Unparalleled Success: Three ESPN analysts during the Super Regionals - Leah O'Brien-Amico, Amanda Freed, and Jessica Mendoza - were teammates of the gold medal team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. They reminisce about that summer and their experience at the WCWS: http://bit.ly/1kbhqFg



ESPN Women's College World Series Television Schedule (May 29 - June 4)



A complete WCWS bracket, which corresponds with the game numbers below, can be found here: http://bit.ly/SLCkjB



Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network



Thurs, May 29 Noon WCWS Game No. 1: No. 13 Baylor vs. No. 5 Florida Pam Ward, Michele Smith, Holly Rowe ESPN 2:30 p.m. WCWS Game No. 2: No. 8 Florida State vs. No. 1 Oregon Pam Ward, Michele Smith, Holly Rowe ESPN 7:00 p.m. WCWS Game No. 3: No. 14 Kentucky vs. No. 6 Louisiana Lafayette Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN2 9:30 p.m. WCWS Game No. 4: No. 7 Oklahoma vs. No 2 Alabama Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN2



Friday, May 30 7 p.m. WCWS Game No. 5: Pam Ward, Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN2 9:30 p.m. WCWS Game No. 6: Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN2



Sat, May 31 Noon WCWS Game No. 7: Pam Ward, Michele Smith, Holly Rowe ESPN2 2:30 p.m. WCWS Game No. 8: Pam Ward, Michele Smith, Holly Rowe ESPN2 7 p.m. WCWS Game No. 9: Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN 9:30 p.m. WCWS Game No. 10: Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN



Sun, June 1 1 p.m. WCWS Game No. 11: Pam Ward, Michele Smith, Holly Rowe ESPN 3:30 p.m. WCWS Game No. 12: Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN 7 p.m. WCWS Game No. 13 (if nec.): Pam Ward, Michele Smith, Holly Rowe ESPNU 9:30 p.m. WCWS Game No. 14 (if nec.): Beth Mowins, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPNU



Mon, June 2 8 p.m. WCWS Finals Game No. 1: Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN2



Tue, June 3 8 p.m. WCWS Finals Game No. 2: Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN



Wed, June 4 8 p.m. WCWS Finals Game No. 3 (if nec.): Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza, Holly Rowe ESPN



Networks and times are subject to change

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