Yesterday afternoon, two competitions took place in two different age groups, two different sports, on two differently-shaped fields.

And with one goal: a place in the championship final.

In Oklahoma City, Okla. yesterday afternoon, the three-time NCAA champion of Division I softball, the University of Oklahoma, was looking to book its place in the best-of-three final of the Women’s College World Series.

And in Fairfield, Conn. a few hours later, the defending CIAC girls’ lacrosse champions, the Darien (Conn.) Blue Wave, was looking to make it to Saturday’s final of the Class LL championship.

Each of these teams played taut, tense games against their competitors — the University of Florida in the softball game, and Greenwich (Conn.) in the lacrosse game.

And in both games, the winning team came up with a supreme effort, doing what they did best, to win.

For the Oklahoma Sooners, they got a timely home run in the eighth inning off the bat of Jayda Coleman to win the elimination game 6-5. It was an opposite-field shot from the senior, and that means OU will take on Texas in the finals beginning later today.

For Darien’s part, they were down 6-5 to Greenwich in the fourth quarter before doing what they do best: winning draws and executing in the attack end. Sadie Stafford would be the beneficiary of Darien’s midfield winning the opening draw of the final period, and scoring to level the game at 6-6. The Wave would win the next draw and Anna Von Kennel would split three red-clad Greenwich defenders to score the game-winning goal in a 7-6 victory to send them to the Class LL final.

In both games, the winning teams didn’t win on talent alone, to borrow a phrase from Herb Brooks. No, these two teams found something deeper in key points of the game to score one more point than the opposition.

And the amazing thing is that neither game was for a championship; these were games just to get to a championship. I’ll be interested to see what happens to both of these teams the next games they play.


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