Wahine Can See Oklahoma From Here

Rainbow Wahine softball coach Bob Coolen has earned another WAC coach of the year honor, and it is well deserved. This may be his best team yet, but any team needs a little luck to get back to Oklahoma City and the College World Series.

The Rainbow Wahine have had wonderful pitching with Stephanie Ricketts earning pitcher of the year honors and lefty Kaia Parnaby going 16-2 in the regular season. They are the country’s only pitching duo to be in the Top Ten in ERA.

The defense has been stellar all year, and the bats came alive toward the end of the season, making a World Series dream seem quite possible.

* When football coaches describe their teams as “young,” sometime they just mean inexperienced. UH coach Norm Chow hasn’t resorted to this tag when referring to his offensive line, but well he could. Coming out of spring football, the depth chart lists three freshmen and two sophomores as the starters. If that holds up through the fall camp, they will certainly be the youngest O-line in college football.

* There is a tendency to take for granted the talents of some superstars. When the New York Yankees watched future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera collapse with a torn ACL while shagging pregame fly balls, it was regarded as a significant loss.

Might be time to upgrade that to catastrophic loss. Last week the Bronx Bombers were nursing a one-run lead into the ninth inning when heir apparent David Robertson was summoned to do what Rivera has done elegantly and apparently effortlessly for so many years. Ten painful minutes later, Robertson left after surrendering four runs, including a three-run jack by Matt Joyce. Just like that, a 1-0 victory was turned into a 4-1 loss.

That it happened against division leading Tampa only made it worse. Rivera says he’ll do everything possible to return to the Yankees next year. Right now though, manager Joe Girardi must be having nightmares about missing the Sandman.

* The New York Knicks have some hard decision to make. Interim coach Mike Woodson did an excellent job guiding the Knicks to the playoffs. He also enjoys the support of star forward Carmelo Anthony. Now ownership has to convince that the relative lack of star power and luminosity of Woodson can be overcome by mere solid credentials.

* At least LeBron James has learned to stop yakking about how great the Heat are. Now if he can just get Dwanye Wade and Chris Bosh to do the same. Wade’s comments about championship or bust and Bosh’s declaration that the Heat are “the best team in the league” just add more pressure and attention on the entire bunch, including James. Yet several analysts believe that coach Eric Spoelstra’s job is safe whether or not they get the ring.