Coordinating producer Meg Aronowitz has been an integral part of ESPN’s ever-expanding softball coverage since ESPNU began in 2005. A third baseman who helped Emory University start its program in 1999, she knows what it is like to see the pitch from the plate and through a camera. The 2013 Women’s College World Series (WCWS) will be Aronowitz’s ninth working for ESPN.
After more than 136 hours of Regional and Super Regional coverage across ESPN networks, the NCAA Division I Softball Championship continues today with every game from the WCWS in Oklahoma City. Front Row sat down with the former Emory Eagle to discuss the tournament and the game’s growing popularity, especially as an ESPN television property.
You’ve seen softball aggressively expand on ESPN networks. What’s the reason for the growth?
The game of softball is appealing because the pace and simplicity to the game. It is young, athletic women who just compete at every turn. It is generally played in a two-hour window, which is appealing to our core audience. College softball is truly sport at the purest level.
What do you most look forward to about WCWS?
The level of competition. Every matchup is competitive and makes for tremendous softball. There is no team or game that can be overlooked when you get to Oklahoma City.
What is the hardest part about producing the WCWS?
Honestly, the challenge in recent years has been competing with Mother Nature. Because softball is an outdoor sport we are always challenged by the elements, but either way we will crown a champion and capture that moment.
Rain has plagued many of the Regional and Super Regional sites this year, and Oklahoma City has been dealing with even more severe weather and tornado damage. How has this affected the WCWS?
This WCWS will be a special one as we watch the No. 1 seed Oklahoma Sooners play for their state to try and capture the championship that slipped through their fingers in 2012. Our ESPN team has been touched by this tragedy with one of our team, John Hooper, losing his home in the tornado. Our crew will volunteer in the relief effort, weather permitting, this week with John to show our support.