Sunday, February 24, 2008

This weekend's major event, the Palm Springs Classic, is now complete; one can find all the results by clicking on the link and then scrolling down to the chart listing all games.

With 24 teams each playing five (or six) games with preordained matchups and no playoff brackets, there cannot really be a definitive winner. Having said that, there did appear to be a standout team, namely the UCLA Bruins. As noted in this UCLA athletics release, the Bruins "...went 5-0 this weekend with four victories over Top 20 teams." The ranked teams mowed down by UCLA were Northwestern, Hawaii, Baylor, and Georgia, with UMass the remaining team. Further, as the article notes, UCLA senior pitcher Anjelica "Jelly" Selden seems to be regaining the form of her frosh and soph seasons in Westwood.

Stanford, one of the teams that played six games, won its first five, before dropping its finale to Texas; the loss was the Cardinal's first of the season.

The most interesting body of work for the tournament arguably belongs to San Diego State. The Aztecs went 2-3, but the victories came over Arizona and Northwestern, two teams that have spent time this season at (or near) the top of the national rankings.

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This afternoon, I was watching a little of the Notre Dame-at-DePaul women's basketball game on ESPN-U. During halftime, the interview guest was none other than Blue Demon head softball coach Eugene Lenti. Noting that he had a senior-laden team this year, Lenti expressed optimism about DePaul's chances of making it back to the Women's College World Series.

Another development, which has been public for a while but was news to me, is the arrival at DePaul of former University of Texas pitching star Cat Osterman as pitching coach. As this article describes, however, Osterman will not be available on a regular basis to the Demon pitchers, due to a heavy traveling schedule with the U.S. national team heading into this summer's Beijing Olympics.