Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The ESPN family of networks will be televising a number of college softball games in the coming weeks, as part of its larger portfolio of springtime collegiate athletics. The schedule is heavily, though not exclusively, oriented toward the SEC. There are several doubleheaders and even a tripleheader. I have copied and pasted the softball information below (all times Eastern):

Fri., April 1
Auburn at Tennessee 8 p.m. ESPNU
Hawaii at Fresno State 10 p.m. ESPNU

Sun., April 3
Liberty at Winthrop 2 p.m. ESPNU

Sat., April 9
Kentucky at Georgia 2 p.m. ESPNU

Sun., April 10
Alabama at LSU 2 p.m. ESPNU

Sat., April 16
Tennessee at LSU Noon ESPN2

Sun., April 17
South Carolina at Arkansas 2 p.m. ESPNU
Oklahoma at Missouri 4 p.m. ESPN

Fri., April 22
LSU at Ole Miss 6 p.m. ESPNU

Sat., April 23
Alabama at Florida 4 p.m. ESPN2

Sun., April 24
Alabama at Florida 1 p.m. ESPN

Sat., April 30
Oklahoma at Texas 7:30 p.m. ESPN
 
Wed., May 4
Pittsburgh at Notre Dame 4 p.m. ESPNU
Pittsburgh at Notre Dame 6:30 p.m. ESPNU

Sat., May 7
Tennessee at Florida Noon ESPN
Cal St. Fullerton at Long Beach St. 3 p.m. ESPNU
Cal St. Fullerton at Long Beach St. 5:30 p.m. ESPNU

Sun., May 8
Texas at Missouri 1 p.m. ESPN
Tennessee at Florida 3 p.m. ESPNU
SWAC championship 10 p.m. ESPNU

May 12-14
Complete coverage of SEC tournament
 
Sat., May 14
Big East championship 5 p.m. ESPN2

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Georgia swept a three-game series from Florida this weekend in SEC play, to reassert itself as a conference and national force. The SEC softball website always provides nice weekend wrap-ups; here is today's.

In the Big 10, Michigan swept a two-game series at Northwestern.

Finally, in the Big 12, Missouri (4-0) and Texas (2-0) sit undefeated atop the conference standings. The Longhorns, building on their success in last week's Judi Garman Classic, swept Kansas, while Mizzou came down to Lubbock and took a pair from Texas Tech. The Red Raiders came into this conference-opening series with a 35-1 record, largely against lower-tier competition (or at least nothing like the caliber of Missouri).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Georgia rebounded from last weekend's sweep at the hands of Alabama by beating national No.2 Florida tonight, 10-7, to kick off this weekend's play. Conference action in the Big 10 and Big 12 is also on tap. Michigan, No. 3 and 4 in the two national polls, plays at Northwestern Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Alabama, ranked No. 2/3 last week in the national polls, swept three games from No. 1 Georgia over the weekend. Look for the Crimson Tide to move to No. 1, but Bama faces another tough assignment in short order -- a doubleheader at No. 11 Tennessee on Tuesday.

Out in Fullerton, California at the Judi Garman Classic, the only team to go undefeated was No. 12/14 Texas, as the Longhorns were 5-0. Among the wins was a 12-0 run-rule blasting of previously unbeaten Washington, with Blaire Luna pitching a perfect game (albeit only five innings). Still, I'm sure Luna was over the moon! Also at the Garman...

Michigan beat both Arizona schools (ASU and UA), but lost to Fresno State to go 4-1.

Oklahoma went 4-2, beating Arizona and Washington, but losing to Notre Dame and Penn State.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

With this being the opening weekend of college basketball's March Madness, probably only the most hardcore softball fans will be focusing on the diamond rather than the hardwood. If so, it will be too bad, as this weekend also features arguably the best match-ups of the softball season thus far.

Georgia and Alabama, who are the top two teams in the nation according to the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball poll (Nos. 1 and 3 in the USA Today/NFCA poll), meet in a three-game series in Tuscaloosa. Game times (Central) are Friday (6:30), Saturday (7:00), and Sunday (1:30). Saturday night's game will be televised on ESPN-U. See the Georgia and Alabama team pages in the links section to the right, for further details.

Meanwhile, out in Fullerton, California, the annual Judi Garman Classic swings into full action today after a couple of games last night. The University of Washington, the nation's last remaining undefeated team (ranked fourth in both polls) heads a deep field that also includes, among others, Arizona State (5/6), Michigan (6/5), Arizona (7/7), and Oklahoma (8/9).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Texas Tech, which started off the season 24-0 and achieved a No. 19 national ranking in both major polls, suffered its first loss Friday, 4-2 to Alcorn State.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The latest rankings from the nation's two major softball polls both have SEC teams in the top three slots, albeit in different orders. The ESPN.com/USA Softball poll has it: 1. Florida, 2. Alabama, and 3. Georgia. The USA Today/NFCA has it: 1. Georgia, 2. Florida, and 3. Alabama.

Friday, March 04, 2011

As can be seen on the daily listing of games over at Ultimate College Softball, the top teams are scattered around the nation in this weekend's tournaments, without a concentration of marquee schools in any one location.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

ESPN.com columnist Graham Hays is out with his summary of the Cathedral City Classic, held this past weekend.

Also, Shanon Hays, coach of undefeated Texas Tech, is interviewed by a Lubbock radio station (click here and, when the page comes up, click on "Download" to hear the full 9-minute, 53-second interview).