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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Two big tournaments are taking place this weekend, the Cathedral City Classic (hosted by Oregon State in the Palm Springs, California area, beginning today) and the NFCA Leadoff Classic (in Columbus, Georgia, beginning Friday). Roughly speaking, the Cathedral City Classic will be featuring the best teams from the western half of the U.S., whereas the NCFA Leadoff Classic will showcase the best teams from the eastern half.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

None of this weekend's tournaments looked all that scintillating on paper. In many cases, one powerhouse team would be in a field against a number of unranked teams. A few of these elite teams indeed romped to victories in their respective tourneys (for example, here and here). However, there also were some surprises. No. 1-ranked Washington suffered its first loss of the season, falling 7-4 to Utah State in San Diego's Campbell Cartier Classic; star Husky pitcher Danielle Lawrie was not in the circle for that game.

Alabama had to deal with another ranked team, Ohio State, with the Tide winning Stetson University's Hatter Invitational in Florida. In Baton Rouge, LSU won its own tournament, despite dropping a game to Michigan (which itself lost to Virginia).

Missouri has been taking a different approach, thus far, from playing tournaments. Opening weekend, the Tigers played a three-game series with Alabama. This weekend, Mizzou was scheduled to play three with Arizona, but rain shortened the series to two games. The teams split.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The dominant story of college softball's opening weekend would have to be the scope of the weather-related postponements and cancellations across the U.S. To take last Friday as an example, Ultimate College Softball's comprehensive collection of scores shows 13 tournaments suffering some type of disruption. Of the games that did get played, here are some results involving Top 10 teams.

At Arizona State's Kajikawa Classic, defending NCAA champion and preseason consensus No. 1 Washington won all five of its games. The Huskies did not face any highly ranked opponents, though. Arizona, No. 4 and 6 in the two major national polls, went 6-0 in the same tournament, including a win over Top 20 Northwestern. Kentucky upset No. 5/7 host ASU.

At the NTC tournament in Clermont, Florida, No. 3/4 Michigan lost to No. 7/8 Georgia, but the Wolverines left on a high note, pulling out a 13-inning win over No. 6/8 UCLA. The Bruins did beat Georgia, though.

No. 3/5 Florida won three of four in a University of South Florida-sponsored tournament in Clearwater.

Outside the tournament structure, No. 9 Missouri went down to consensus No. 2 Alabama and bested the Crimson Tide in a three-game series, two games to one.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The 2010 college softball season begins this weekend (with weekend being defined loosely, i.e., starting this Thursday). A huge number of preseason tournaments will be held, with the NTC/Dot Richardson and Kajikawa tourneys appearing to have the deepest and most talented fields. Over at Ultimate College Softball, "UMass Fan" has posted an amazingly detailed preview of each and every one of the tournaments.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The local Lubbock, Texas newspaper writes about new Texas Tech softball coach Shanon Hays and the Red Raiders' prospects for the coming season.