CWS notebook: ESPN's Brown smiling in Omaha


Published: Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 7:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 7:43 p.m.

OMAHA, Neb. — All of the teams who have made it to the College World Series had smiles on their faces when they arrived in Omaha.

So did Jenn Brown.

Things couldn't be going much better for the former University of Florida softball player. She is ESPN's dugout reporter for the afternoon games at the CWS, has her own line of jewelry and is newly married. Brown married actor Wes Chatham in April.

“I'm officially a Mrs.” she said Saturday. “I'm still not used to it. Last night I introduced him as my boyfriend.”

Another plus for Brown is that she drew the afternoon games so she was able to watch her alma mater play Saturday night.

“I let our person who handles our tickets know I would definitely need one for the Gator game,” she said.

Brown, 31, has had a meteoric ride at ESPN. She graduated summa cum laude from UF in 2002 and planned to go to law school and be a sports agent. But she was offered a modeling job for Under Armour and that led to a role on the HDnet TV show “Wild Side” and then to ESPN five years ago.

At ESPN, she has hosted NFL Live, done sideline reporting and a variety of other things.

“I get questions all the time from aspiring journalists asking how to follow their dream,” she said. “I tell them not to necessarily follow what I did. I was a criminology major.”

Brown was born at Alachua General Hospital and her parents opened up the gym that is now Sun Country. She moved to Orlando at the age of 2 before returning to Gainesville on an academic scholarship. Brown walked on to the Florida softball team and was the captain of the team her senior year.

And these days, she couldn't be happier doing what she's doing.

“For lot of people, this is a vacation,” she said. “It's my job. I think about it all the time how great it is to have a job like this.”

MORNING BASEBALL: There were questions about the games starting so late to please ESPN and that was before the second game of the tournament didn't get over until 1:17 a.m. Eastern time.

Arizona beat FSU 4-3 in 12 innings in the game, and Seminole coach Mike Martin quipped in the interview room, “It's going to be a short deadline for some folks.”

The Arizona win sets up a Sunday game between Andy Lopez's team and his alma mater UCLA. The two teams actually split a flight to Omaha this week and UCLA grad Linda Lopez, Andy's wife, told him she was going to do a UCLA cheer during the flight.

“I said, ‘We get paid by Arizona. What are you doing?' “ Lopez said.

ELIMINATION DAY: So who gets sent home packing today? Is it the Cinderella Stony Brook Seawolves or the hard-luck Seminoles?

The two teams play at 3 p.m. today in a game that will end the season for one of these teams.

“In the huddle (after the game), coach was talking about what South Carolina did two years ago when they lost their first game, and he was just saying why couldn't it be us?” said FSU's John Holland. “I think it's a mindset everybody's going to take on coming forward. It's tough, but we'll forget about it. And we'll be ready to go (today).”

SAY GOODBYE: Rosenblatt Stadium housed the CWS from 1950 to 2010, but the old lady will be reduced to rubble next month when it is demolished to make room for parking lots for the Henry Doorly Zoo next door.

Last year, the stadium was fenced off, but they are opening it up this weekend to let fans go by and reminisce. Or you can buy a brick for $250 that will go on a wall in the new Infield at the Zoo display in the zoo.

Rosenblatt was thick with tradition, but TD Ameritrade Park has received rave reviews since it became the home of the CWS last year.

A testament to how well this event is supported by Omaha and college baseball fans — sometime during the Stony Brook-FSU elimination game today the eight millionth fan will attend the CWS.

BALLS AND STRIKES: FSU has lost four straight opening games in the College World Series and the Seminoles haven't won an opening game here since 1999. … Lopez was 13-15 against FSU while the coach at Florida. … Friday night's loss was FSU's first extra-inning loss of the year.

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