Softball continues to grow.
With the Women's College World Series coming to an end earlier this week, the event showed that the sport is growing. The event showed that continued investment is needed to help it keep growing and provided another example of the continued need for investment in women's sports.
As thousands of people flocked to USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, the sport of softball gave all it had to provide entertainment to the viewers. The players, coaches and everyone involved gave all they had to win a national title.
As the entire sport continues to give all it has, it deserves the same from everyone else in return. It deserves the respect and investment to help it grow and continue gaining popularity. It's the least that we can do.
One thing this year's WCWS showed was that there is still a long way to go in giving the sport the support it needs. One of the major issues with this particular event is the condensed schedule that does not allow for rain delays.
Because of the Oklahoma weather, games were delayed and played after midnight. Oklahoma State and Florida State began late and finished well after midnight because of a lengthy rain delay that forced the previous game to start late.
Because of more weather in the state, the championship series ended up getting pushed back, and the final game ended up taking place in the afternoon. No championship game should start at 2 p.m., especially during the middle of June in Oklahoma.
Softball deserves better. The teams deserved better, and the fans deserved better.
And that is why the WCWS needs to go to an extended schedule going forward. What happened this year cannot happen in the future.
The WCWS also showed that investing in the sport will only help the sport going forward. By adding seating to the stadium, more people showed up. Extending the schedule is another investment that needs to happen.
Softball and women's sports as a whole deserve the respect they have been fighting for. They constantly give us all they can possibly give to prove they belong, and we need to continue investing in them to help them grow.
We must invest in softball. We must invest in women's sports.