ThePostGame recently caught up with former softball star and Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch. In addition to her work as an ESPN broadcaster, Finch is currently touring on behalf of the Capital One Cup, an NCAA Division I athletic award given annually to the top men's and women's college athletics program.
ThePostGame: I know this is one of the busiest times of the year for you. Were you able to spend Mother’s Day with your kids?
JENNIE FINCH: I was, yes. I got back from commentating at the ACC Softball Championship. So I was able to get home pretty early [Sunday] morning, which was nice.
TPG: What a hectic weekend -- the ACC Championship, Mother’s Day and the release of the NCAA tournament brackets.
FINCH: Yeah, [Sunday] was an exciting day. Lots of fun. I traveled in from Florida State, and I came home and actually dedicated my kids at church. I enjoyed the day with family, and then got to tune in to the selection show. An exciting, long day which started at 4 a.m.
TPG: What was your initial reaction after seeing the NCAA tournament brackets?
FINCH: It's exciting, a lot of good softball from coast to coast. We saw the Big Ten and Big 12 making a push –- Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas. And then the SEC, a lot of teams there. I think they had nine schools from the SEC make it. And then the Pac 12 had eight of their teams make it.
This weekend’s going to be a lot of fun, and then on to Super Regionals, which I’ll be commentating on one of those. And then it all comes down to Oklahoma City.
TPG: There are a lot of of Capital One Cup points at stake here. Are there any teams which you think could shake up the standings?
FINCH: It's up for grabs, and that’s the great thing about the postseason. You never know what’s going to happen and who's going to win. Rankings mean nothing, it all comes down to that day and who comes out on top.
Whoever gets hot and whoever has that natural chemistry towards the end finishes it. There are a lot of teams in the push, there's actually 60 points given away for the Capital One Cup from winning the College World Series. So if you think about that, any school, even Michigan or LSU, Arizona, 60 points could put them up towards the top. Oklahoma, even. So, it'll be interesting.
Texas is making a run for it right now, Oregon is there, Stanford, Florida, a win can put them way at the top.
TPG: A few years after you graduated from Arizona you won a gold medal in Athens. Now, baseball and softball are fighting for a spot in the Olympics. Why do you think baseball and softball deserve a spot, and are you planning on helping out to advance their cause?
FINCH: Yes, I'm actually on the board of the World Baseball Softball Confederation. They just merged, it used to be the International Softball Federation.
We joined with baseball now to make one governing body. We’re going to push together, which I think will be the strongest push that we’ve made thus far. And I think, no doubt about it, baseball and softball should be in the Olympics.
There's over 140 countries that play the game, and we’re not sure why it was eliminated. There are a lot of factors that go into it. Now it’s a matter of keeping our campaign going and building awareness and helping to grow our sport all over the world.
We’ll know this fall if we get it back in.