Alabama hasn't been around long, but it's come close to softball's big prize a few times. Wednesday was its breakthrough as the Crimson Tide won the WCWS title over Oklahoma.
With no Olympics in sight, Stanford's standout shortstop, Ashley Hansen, is opting to walk away from softball and jump into her career at a technology firm in Silicon Valley.
For an entire generation of players who grew up in the South, playing softball has quickly become a fact of life. But it didn't used to be that way, writes Graham Hays.