This Weekend in Sports: Title IX Anniversary Game, UFC 147 and the College World Series
A game celebrating a landmark bill in women’s sports history, a significant mixed martial arts fight and the crowning of the NCAA baseball champion highlight this weekend’s sports offerings:
Friday, June 22
College World Series
TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, NE; 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. (EDT); ESPN 2 / ESPN 3-TV
Arizona, Arkansas, Florida State and defending champion South Carolina remain as the College World Series determines its championship series participants by the end of Friday. Arizona and Arkansas have yet to lose, while Florida State and South Carolina have each been defeated once in the double-elimination tournament. The best-of-three championship series starts Sunday night in Omaha.
Saturday, June 23
Title IX event : USA Softball – Canada vs. USA
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, Oklahoma City, OK; 7 p.m. (EDT); ESPN-TV
The USA Softball National Team, opens its summer season against Canada in the 40th Anniversary Title IX Game. The bill, signed by President Richard Nixon on June 23, 1972, provides that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity.” These two teams will also compete in the World Cup of Softball, June 28 – July 2 in Oklahoma City.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA; 7:15 p.m. (EDT); FOX-TV
Two star-filled teams meet to decide which of them is playing the best baseball in Los Angeles. The first-place Los Angeles Dodgers (42-26, as of Thursday) have the best record in the National League, even though they have been without injured outfielder Matt Kemp for weeks. They’ll send Chris Capuano (8-2, 2.71) to the mound to face the Los Angeles Angels (37-32). After struggling earlier this season, Angels slugger Albert Pujols is now hitting .255 with 11 home runs. His presence in the batting order has also helped get his teammates better pitches to hit. Ervin Santana (4-7, 5.16) starts for the Angels.
Victor Ortiz vs. Josesito Lopez
Staples Center, Los Angeles; 9 p.m. (EDT); Showtime-TV
Former welterweight world champion Victor Ortiz (29-3-2) takes to the Staples Center ring to fight underdog Josesito Lopez (29-4) in a 12-round bout. Ortiz is trying to fight his way back up the ranks after a loss to Floyd Mayweather last September, while Lopez tries to further establish himself as a welterweight contender. Lucas Matthysse faces Humberto Soto in a junior welterweight division bout on the undercard.
UFC 147 — Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin
Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drumond, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; 10 p.m. (EDT); Pay Per View-TV
Wanderlei Silva takes on Rich Franklin in Brazil on Saturday night as Ultimate Fighting Championship shows its international appeal. Fabricio Werdum faces Mike Russow on the undercard. The opening fight — between Yuri Alcantara and Hacran Dias — will be the 2,000th fight in UFC history.
Sunday, June 24
College World Series
TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, NE; 8 p.m. (EDT); ESPN 2 / ESPN 3-TV
Arizona or Florida State will face South Carolina or Arkansas in the first game of the best-of-three championship series Sunday night in Omaha.
Florida State is especially hungry for the championship. The Seminoles hold the record of most College World Series appearances without winning the championship (21).
NBA Finals : Game 6— Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder*
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK; 8 p.m. (EDT); ABC-TV
After Tuesday’s 104-98 Miami victory put the Heat up 3-1 in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade are just a win away from a title. If the Heat can’t close out the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 on Thursday night in Miami, James and Wade must travel back to Oklahoma City to face Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and a hostile crowd.
New York Yankees at New York Mets
Citi Field, Queens, NY; 8:10 p.m. (EDT); ESPN-TV
The Yankees and Mets wrap up inter-league play with a marquee pitching match-up in their Subway Series. The first-place Yankees (41-27, as of Thursday) send ace CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.55) to the mound to face the Mets (38-32, as of Thursday) and third-baseman David Wright, hitting .358. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and the rest of the potent Bronx Bombers’ offensive lineup must figure out how to hit Mets’ pitcher R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.00), who has thrown back-to-back one-hit shutouts.