The Rainbow Wahine will open against UC Davis in the NCAA Regional at Stanford.
Stanford plays Texas Tech in the first round of the double-elimination Regional.
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The best thing about the Rainbow Wahine’s championship victory was that it was their own doing.
They didn’t have to rely on another team for help. And they did it on the road. (I don’t care if it’s deemed a neutral field; any itinerary that requires three flights, a bus ride and four time zones equates to a road trip.)
Roll the credits for:
• Bob Coolen, who guided a seamless transition from one style of play to another. He started three newcomers (freshmen Kelly Majam and Jessica Iwata, and JC transfer Jenna Rodriguez), placed veterans in different spots (Melissa Gonzalez at third, Traci Yoshikawa at second, Kanani Pu‘u-Warren in right, Alex Aguirre off the bench), and found another great volunteer coach (Dickie Titcomb).
• Nancy Coolen, Bob’s wife, who is the computer geek in the family. She finds the articles (and rankings) used for scouting and motivation.
• Catcher Katie Grimes, who not only calls all of the pitches, but she serves as psychologist to the pitchers. Plus, she has been hitting. And writing (a great diary).
* Stephanie Ricketts, who went from being a projected project last season to the Rainbows’ ace to this year’s WAC Pitcher of the Year. Sure, she was the losing pitcher in yesterday’s opening game, yielding three runs in the first inning, but she battled after that.