ESPN ups coverage for championship
Includes expanded exposure at Regional sites on ESPN3.com
ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com will combine to provide the most extensive NCAA Division I Softball Championship coverage to date with up to 69 games Friday, May 20-Wednesday, June 8, an increase from the scheduled 55 last year. The lineup will feature all games from four Regional sites, two more sites than last year with the addition of ESPN3.com’s exclusive coverage; every game from each of the eight Super Regional sites for the third consecutive year; and every NCAA Women’s College World Series contest for the 10th consecutive championship.
For the first time all games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will be televised in high definition and simulcast on ESPN3.com, while ESPN Mobile TV will offer select games throughout the championship.
Action will begin Friday, May 20, with eight telecasts from four sites – Ann Arbor, Mich., Gainesville, Fla., Knoxville, Tenn. and Tempe, Ariz. Games from Ann Arbor will include Kentucky vs. Notre Dame on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. ET and Western Michigan vs. No. 10 seed Michigan at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The games from Tempe will air on ESPNU and include San Diego State vs. Long Beach State at 5:30 p.m. and North Dakota State vs. No. 1 seed Arizona State at 8 p.m. All four games will also be simulcast on ESPN3.com
ESPN3.com will offer doubleheaders from Gainesville and Knoxville exclusively: Gainesville – Jacksonville vs. UCLA at 3:30 p.m. and Bethune-Cookman vs. No. 4 seed Florida at 6 p.m.; Knoxville – Georgia Tech vs. Oklahoma State at 4 p.m. and Liberty vs. No. 14 seed Tennessee at 6:30 p.m.
• A record 69 scheduled games will be offered across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com, including 28 from four Regional sites, all 24 from the Super Regionals, as well as all 17 from the NCAA Women’s College World Series.
• ESPNU HD will televise the complete best-of-seven Regional series from Tempe featuring top-seeded Arizona State, while ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will combine to cover the Regional series from Ann Arbor showcasing No. 10 seed Michigan.
• For the first time, ESPN3.com will have exclusive coverage of two best-of-seven Regional sites – from Gainesville featuring No. 4 seed Florida and from Knoxville highlighting No. 14 seed Tennessee.
• ESPN3.com will simulcast every ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU telecast – marking the first time the broadband network will offer each game.
• ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com will combine to televise every game from the eight best-of-three Super Regional series Thursday-Sunday, May 26-29. The Super Regional winners will advance to the Women’s College World Series.
• ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise every NCAA Women’s College World Series game Thursday-Wednesday, June 2-8. It will mark ESPN’s 30th consecutive year covering the event.
• ESPN Mobile TV will simulcast a total of 25 games.
• The networks will use two announcer teams on the NCAA Women’s College World Series, each featuring U.S. Olympic Gold Medal winners as analysts. Beth Mowins will call play-by-play with analyst Jessica Mendoza, a 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist. Pam Ward will call play-by-play with analyst Michele Smith, a two-time U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist (1996 & 2000). Holly Rowe will serve as the field reporter on every telecast.
• The Regional telecasts will feature Mowins and Mendoza working games from the Ann Arbor series and play-by-play announcer Cara Capuano calling games with Smith from Tempe. The Super Regional commentators will be announced at a later date.
• ESPN International will provide coverage of the NCAA Women's College World Series Finals and select early-round games in 170 countries and territories on ESPN Latin America, ESPN Europe, ESPN Pacific Rim, ESPN Australia, ESPN Africa, ESPN Middle East, ESPN Caribbean and ESPN Brazil.