TOP OF THE TOWN – I made a well-intended, but hasty, prediction Sunday that Michigan would beat the Washington Huskies in the regional softball championship game once the Wolverines got the 1-0 lead in the first inning. My prediction was based on what I thought was the best pitcher I had seen in the regional competition in Seattle. That pitcher is Alex Storako, a junior right-hander that had beaten the Huskies in their first regional match-up 2-1, whiffing 13 Huskies and allowing just three hits. I figured the Huskies would not be able to score off Storako. Wrong, meathead. Washington fell behind 5-1 after two innings and I really, really felt that was it for the Huskies. Instead, surprisingly they rallied to close the gap with two runs in the third inning and when Jayelyn Allchin homered to cut the lead to 5-4 in the fourth inning that chased Storako from the mound. The Huskies then continued to rake in the inning against Meghan Beaubien, a left-hander that pitched a five-inning no-hitter against Seattle University in regional play. Washington scored seven runs in the inning to take a 10-5 lead and Gabbie Plain, who looked shaky in the second inning when she gave up four runs, buckled down and held the Wolverines scoreless the rest of the way. It was an amazing comeback for the 44-12 Huskies, whose offense looked like it had gone missing in earlier regional games. The Huskies came into the region hitting .324, which ranked 13th in the country.  But once they forced a second championship game Sunday by beating Michigan 2-0 behind Plain’s excellent pitching for her 31st victory of the season, their offense suddenly woke up to advance to the Super Regional Friday in Norman, Oklahoma against top-ranked Oklahoma (48-2) in a best-of-three battle. Friday’s game starts at noon and will be on ESPN2.  Some experts are calling Oklahoma the best college softball team ever. The Sooners ripped Morgan State 19-0 in five innings and blasted six home runs to rip Wichita State 24-7 in the regional championship game. Oklahoma is the top hitting team in the country, batting .422 with 142 home runs in 50 games. Washington, by contrast, has 67 home runs. Oklahoma has ended 32 of its games by run-rule of five or six innings. They opened their 2021 schedule by hammering UTEP 29-0 in five innings. Georgia ended the Sooners’ 36-game winning streak on April 20 with a 7-6 victory in nine innings. Their other loss was to Oklahoma State 6-4 on May 7. They have outscored opponents 621-97. That’s about 12-2 on average per game. So for the Huskies it’s like going from the frying pan to the fire. Nobody expects them to beat Oklahoma. Know this I’m not making a prediction after my fumble on Sunday. That’s it for today. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.