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[brink video game]Black Sox softball great Travis Wilson’s team on brink of another American college title

2021-8-15 source:ING club

  Florida State catcher Anna Shelnutt (R) tags out Oklahoma's Tiare Jennings at the plate in the seventh inning of FSU's 8-4 win in the first game of the NCAA Women's College World Series softball championship.Sue Ogrocki/APFlorida State catcher Anna Shelnutt (R) tags out Oklahoma’s Tiare Jennings at the plate in the seventh inning of FSU’s 8-4 win in the first game of the NCAA Women’s College World Series softball championship.

  Florida State University – with Black Sox softball great Travis Wilson as assistant-coach – are just one game away from their second United States NCAA College Women’s Softball World Series national title in three years.

  The Florida State Seminoles withstood a late rally by the University of Oklahoma to score a comfortable 8-4 win the first leg of the three-game final series in Oklahoma City before 13,000 fans on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time).

  Travis Wilson, pictured in 2005 as a Black Sox softballer, has helped Florida State University to the brink of a second American national softball college final.Stacy Squires/StuffTravis Wilson, pictured in 2005 as a Black Sox softballer, has helped Florida State University to the brink of a second American national softball college final.

  They get a chance to wrap up the championship on Wednesday (Thursday NZ time).

  Wilson – a Florida State assistant since 2012 – was also on board when the Seminoles won their first national title in 2018 under head coach Lonni Alameda.

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  The Christchurch native won a world men’s softball title with the Black Sox as a 19-year-old in 1996, and then signed for the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball club.

  He spent eight years in professional baseball, rising as high as Triple-A and was once on the brink of being named in the Braves’ Major League roster.

  Wilson worked for New Zealand Cricket as the Black Caps’ fielding coach and video analyst after his baseball stint and combined that role with a softball return for the Black Sox, up to and including a silver medal at the 2009 world championships in Canada.

  He is in charge of Florida State’s offence, which has been red-hot in the 2021 WCSW finals, scoring 24 runs in their last four games.

  Wilson has been hailed as “the best hitting coach’’ in America after the Seminoles’ spree.

  Travis Wilson has coached at Florida State University since 2012. (File photo).Stacy Squires/StuffTravis Wilson has coached at Florida State University since 2012. (File photo).

  “After what I witnessed last night in the FSU vs. Alabama softball game, I am convinced that FSU’s Travis Wilson is the best hitting coach in America at developing a game plan strategy,’’ Fury Fastpitch Academy owner and director Patrick Moyer wrote on Facebook before the final.

  “Make no mistake it was no accident that his team had such success at the plate. Travis is brilliant at preparing his players for each at bat.

  Jeremy Manley, pitching for the Black Sox at the 2013 world softball championships in Auckland, is now coaching in the United States.John SelkirkJeremy Manley, pitching for the Black Sox at the 2013 world softball championships in Auckland, is now coaching in the United States.

  “If you think he is perched over there in the corner of the dugout because it’s a good view, you’re wrong. He is ‘coaching up’ every FSU hitter before they step in the box.’’

  Wilson was a Fury Academy instructor before joining Florida State.

  The 43-year-old is among an elite group of former New Zealand softballers coaching on the competitive American college circuit.

  Michael White _ who pitched a perfect game to win the 1996 world championship grand final _ is head coach at the University of Texas after serving in the same role at Oregon from 2010 to 2018. White took Oregon to five WCSW finals.

  Leslie King, a double New Zealand softball and football representative, has been the head softball coach at the University of Pennsylvania for 18 seasons. The former shortstop earned a silver medal with the New Zealand women’s softball team at the 1990 world championships.

  Former New Zealand Black Sox softball coach Don Tricker is now the director of player health and performance at the San Diego Padres.SuppliedFormer New Zealand Black Sox softball coach Don Tricker is now the director of player health and performance at the San Diego Padres.

  Jeremy Manley – who won the Kevin Herlihy Memorial award as pitcher of the tournament when the Black Sox won the 2013 world championship – is an assistant-coach at Ball State University in Indiana after an earlier stint at the University of Ohio.

  Ex-Auckland pitcher Mike Roberts, is an associate head coach at the University of Louisiana (Lafayette), after working as a pitching coach at Washington and Oregon and as head coach at the University of Buffalo. Like Wilson and White, the former New Zealand White Sox pitching coach has past WCSW finals experience.

  Don Tricker, a former Black Sox outfielder who coached New Zealand to two men’s world softball titles, is also the director of player health and performance at the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball club.

  Florida State lost their first game of the top-eight WCSW finals series –just as they did in 2018 – but have recovered from that 4-0 reverse to UCLA to beat the University of Arizona (4-3) Alabama (4-2 and 8-5) and now Oklahoma (8-4).

  After two scoreless innings against Oklahoma, the Seminoles raced out to a 7-0 lead to silence the parochial home crowd.

  FSU’s No 9 hitter Kalei Harding smashed a two-run home run in the third inning and sparked a five-run procession in the fourth with a two-RBI double.

  Florida State pitcher Kathryn Sandercock (R) celebrates victory over Oklahoma with catcher Anna Shelnutt.Sue Ogrocki/APFlorida State pitcher Kathryn Sandercock (R) celebrates victory over Oklahoma with catcher Anna Shelnutt.

  Senior Seminole Sydney Sherrill, an Oklahoma native and a United States national squad member, singled to score two more runs.

  Oklahoma – seeking a fifth national title since 2000 under veteran coach Patty Gasso – hit back in the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back home runs by power hitters Kinzie Hansen and Nicole Mendes.

  They scored twice more in the sixth inning, prompting FSU to make a pitching change.

  FSU added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when shortstop Josie Muffley hurt herself in a head-first dive for home plate, scoring on an obstruction call against the Oklahoma catcher.

  Any hope of an Oklahoma comeback was snuffed out in the bottom of the seventh by a brilliant relay play executed by centrefielder Dani Morgan, infielder Sherrill and catcher Anna Shelnut to nail runner Tiare Jennings at the plate.

  The second game in the CWSC final series will be at noon Thursday (NZ time), live on Sky Sport’s ESPN2 channel.

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