ESPN Announces Biggest Broadcast Schedule Ever For 2014 College Softball Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced today, its broadcast coverage schedule for the 2014 college softball season.  This season’s broadcast schedule is the most expansive from the Worldwide Leader in Sports.  This season, audiences will be able to catch no fewer than forty regular season college softball games across the ESPN family of networks.  Another forty will be broadcast on ESPN3 later this season.  Those games will be announced at a later date.  Also included in this year’s broadcast schedule will be no fewer than five college softball championships and the entire SEC tournament.  The championship matches scheduled to be broadcast will be for the SEC, ACC, Big South, SWAC, and AAC conference titles.  It all begins with preseason Number 1 Tennessee hosting South Carolina on Sunday, March 23rd at 2:30pm on ESPNU.

The end of the regular season doesn’t mean the end of ESPN’s coverage of college softball.  ESPN and the ESPN family of networks will have regional round coverage, full coverage of the super regionals, and NCAA Women’s World Series.

The number of college softball games covered this year by ESPN and the ESPN family of networks is just one landmark.  Among that total eighty games to be broadcast, the ESPN family of networks will also carry a record seventeen matchups featuring two ranked teams.  This includes a matchup of #10 Texas at #2 Oklahoma on Thursday, April 17th on ESPN2.  The Sooners will also be on the road Saturday, April 12th to face #16 Baylor. That game will be broadcast on ESPN.  Along with its matchup against the Gamecocks, ESPN is scheduled to carry The Volunteers’ matchups against #11 Texas A&M on Friday, April 11th and Sunday, April 13th.

Twelve of the eighty total games scheduled to air across the ESPN family of networks will feature a top five team in the ESPN.com/USA preseason Top 25 games.  Twenty-seven of the games will feature an overall ranked team.

If the number of games scheduled to be broadcast and the teams to be featured isn’t enough for audiences, the staff of analysts set to cover the games will impress viewers.  Each analyst—Jessica Mendoza, Jennie Finch, Amanda Scarborough, Cheri Kempf, and Michele Smith—is a multi-time collegiate All-American.  Three of the analysts—Finch, Mendoza, and Smith—combine for six total Olympic medals, including four gold.  Joining the staff for play-by-play commentary will be Beth Mowins, Pam Ward, Cara Capuano, Adam Amin, Holly Rowe, and Mark Neely.  The current schedule of college softball games to be broadcast across the ESPN family of networks is listed below.  Dates are subject to change.

2014 ESPN NCAA Softball Television Schedule (subject to change)

 

Date Time Matchup Network
Sun, March 23 2:30 p.m. South Carolina vs. #1 Tennessee ESPNU
  7 p.m. #10 Texas at #16 Baylor ESPNU
Mon, March 31 6 p.m. # 12 Florida State at UNC ESPNU
Fri, April 4 9 p.m. Arkansas at #6 Alabama ESPNU
Sat, April 5 5 p.m. Auburn at #3 Florida ESPNU
Sun, April 6 3 p.m. Arkansas at #6 Alabama ESPN
Thu, April 10 11 p.m. #5 Washington at #20 Stanford ESPNU
Fri, April 11 8 p.m. #1 Tennessee at #11 Texas A&M ESPNU
Sat, April 12 3 p.m. #2 Oklahoma at #16 Baylor ESPN
Sat, April 12 10 p.m. #5 Washington at #20 Stanford ESPN2
Sun, April 13 1 p.m. #1 Tennessee at #11 Texas A&M ESPNU
Mon, April 14 7 p.m. #12 Florida State at Notre Dame ESPNU
Wed, April 16 7 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU
  9:30 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU
Thu, April 17 9 p.m. #10 Texas at # 2 Oklahoma ESPN2
Fri, April 18 8 p.m. #3 Florida at #11 Texas A&M ESPNU
Sat, April 19 4 p.m. #19 LSU at South Carolina ESPNU
  6 p.m. #3 Florida at #11 Texas A&M ESPNU
Sun, April 20 3 p.m. Syracuse at #12 Florida State ESPNU
Thu, April 24 8 p.m. #21 Georgia at # 6 Alabama ESPN
Fri, April 25 10 p.m. # 8 Oregon at #20 Stanford ESPNU
Sat, April 26 12 p.m. #21 Georgia at # 6 Alabama ESPNU
Mon, April 28 7 p.m. Maryland at Notre Dame ESPNU
Thu, May 1 8 p.m. # 6 Alabama at # 17 Missouri ESPN
Sat, May 3 2 p.m. # 6 Alabama at # 17 Missouri ESPNU
  4 p.m. # 14 Kentucky at #21 Georgia ESPNU
  6 p.m. #20 Stanford at #13 UCLA ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. #3 Florida at Arkansas ESPN
Sun, May 4 1 p.m. #3 Florida at Arkansas ESPN
  3 p.m. #20 Stanford at #13 UCLA ESPN

 

2014 ESPN NCAA Conference Championship (subject to change)

Wed, May 7 4 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Play-In Game No. 1 ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Play-In Game No. 2 ESPNU
Thu, May 8 11 a.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Quarterfinal No. 1 ESPNU
  1:30 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Quarterfinal No. 2 ESPNU
  4 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Quarterfinal No. 3 ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Quarterfinal No. 4 ESPNU
Fri, May 9 3 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Semifinal No. 1 ESPNU
  5:30 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Semifinal No. 2 ESPNU
Sat, May 10 2 p.m. ACC Softball Tournament – Championship ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. American Softball Tournament – Championship ESPNEWS
  8 p.m. SEC Softball Tournament – Championship ESPN2
  10 p.m. SWAC Softball Tournament – Championship* ESPNU
Sun, May 11 Noon Big South Softball Tournament – Championship ESPNU

*Live on ESPN 3 at 3:00 p.m.; taped delayed on ESPNU

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks coverage of the 2014 college softball season is available online at http://www.espn.com and http://www.facebook.com/espn.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Films Debuts New Film This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN/ESPNU

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPNU

ESPN Films will debut a new film in its SEC “Storied” series this weekend.  Miracle 3 will debut this Sunday, March 3rd at 8pm EST on ESPNU.  The latest in the series focuses on the events of March 14th, 2008.  It was on that date that an EF2 tornado touched down in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia during a matchup between Alabama and Mississippi State in the SEC tournament.  Alabama was trailing Mississippi State 59-56 in the final seconds of regulation of the first of the tournament’s quarterfinal games.  The game went into OT after Alabama guard Myka Riley hit a three-pointer to tie the game.  The irony of the shot is that not only did it keep the Crimson Tide in the game, but because it extended the game, it may have been to thank for saving thousands of lives.

Because of that shot, the thousands in attendance of the game stayed inside the Georgia Dome instead of going outside.  Had they gone outside, those thousands could have been injured or worse because only minutes after that fateful shot, a tornado touched down just outside the Georgia Dome.  Nobody inside the Georgia Dome was injured.  Though, the arena did sustain enough damage that it forced the remainder of the game to be delayed.  It also caused the last quarterfinal game of the day to be postponed.  SEC officials would end up having to find a new home for the tournament’s final games as a result of the damage to the Georgia Dome so as to finish the tournament on schedule.  The Bulldogs would end up going on to the NCAA tournament after winning three games in a 30-hour span.

The story of Miracle 3 is built around interviews with people involved in those affected by the tornado including players and coaches from teams playing in the tournament, SEC officials, referees, fans, meteorologists, and many more.  Along with airing at 8pm on ESPNU, Miracle 3 will also air earlier in the evening on March 3rd on ESPN.  It will air at 5pm on ESPN this Sunday evening.

To get the latest news on Miracle 3 and all programming on ESPNU and ESPN, go online to http://www.facebook.com/ESPNU and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and the official website of ESPNU and ESPN, http://espn.go.com/college-sports/ and http://espn.go.com

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPNU Airing New “Storied” Special Next Week

ESPNU is presenting a very special presentation next Tuesday, September 25th as part of ESPN’s “Storied” series.  The network will premiere the special, “Croom” next Tuesday night at 7pm EST. 

“Croom” focuses on famed Mississippi State University coach Sylvester Croom.  He’s seen some very high and some low points.  Croom was part of three SEC Championship teams as a student athlete at the University of Alabama.  He was also the first ever African American Center on the football team.  Croom moved on to the NFL after his college career, where he served as an assistant coach for seventeen years before being considered for the head football coach of his alma mater.  Ultimately, he would be beaten out by Mike Shula.  It would be a year later when Croom took the helm of the embattled Mississippi State football program.  Three straight winning seasons and back to back wins against the Crimson Tide in ’06 and ’07 along with a Liberty Bowl win and Coach of The Year honors would seemingly secure his place at Mississippi State.  But that wouldn’t be the case, as he was surprisingly asked to step down from his post after the season that followed. 

Croom showed that despite being asked to step down from his coaching position, he wouldn’t let that adversity keep him down.  He returned to the NFL and now serves as part of the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff. 

This powerful story of success over great odds and adversity is perfect for any college football fan.  It airs on ESPNU next Tuesday night at 7pm EST. 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com