Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sweeps Characterize Big 12 Opening Weekend

I don't know how many fans took brooms out to Big 12 softball fields today, but it would have been appropriate, as all three of the conference's opening-weekend* series ended in three-game sweeps:

  • Kansas over Oklahoma State (link);
  • Oklahoma over Iowa State (all three wins via run-rule; link); and
  • Baylor over Texas Tech (link).

The reason for the late start to Big 12 conference play is that relatively few series are needed, given how few schools field teams. Despite its name, the conference has only 10 institutions to begin with. Further, three of them -- Texas Christian (TCU), Kansas State, and West Virginia -- don't field softball teams, yielding only seven squads.

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*Baylor and Texas played once before this weekend, a game won by the Longhorns.

Monday, March 24, 2014

UCLA Likely to Take Undisputed No. 1 Ranking

Heading into this past weekend's play, UCLA and Florida essentially were co-No. 1 teams in the nation. UCLA held the No. 1 position, with Florida No. 2, in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. However, in the USA Today/NFCA poll, it was Florida No. 1 and UCLA No. 2. This past weekend's play likely will give the Bruins a nudge to the No. 1 spot in both polls. UCLA took two of three from Washington in Seattle, improving to 5-1 in the Pac 12 (28-2 overall). Florida, meanwhile, dropped two of three to Alabama on the Gators' home diamond in Gainesville.

Friday, March 21, 2014

B1G Conference Play Gets Underway

The B1G is the latest major conference to begin league play (see conference news release). The B1G logo is supposed to look like the word BIG when the one is viewed as an I, and the 1G is supposed to look like a 10 when the G is viewed as a zero.

Friday, March 14, 2014

SEC, Pac 12 Begin Conference Play

Among the major conferences, league play begins this weekend in the SEC and Pac 12. In the SEC, national No. 1 Florida headlines the schedule with a three-game series at LSU (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). In the Pac 12, the marquee match-up is a three-game series featuring Arizona at UCLA, in an unusual Saturday-Sunday-Monday format.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Judi Garman Classic

Arizona State went 5-0 in the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, California over the weekend, outshining other top teams in the field. A full compilation of results is available here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Michigan Hands UCLA its First Loss of the Year, Gains Split in Series

The following Twitter tweet says it all...
Shortstop Sierra Romero led the Wolverines, falling a triple shy of the cycle (see box score and play-by-play). Tonight's win gives Michigan (14-3) a split in the two-game series after last night's extra-inning Bruin victory. UCLA is now 17-1. Originally, the teams were supposed to play once last Sunday in the Louisville Slugger Invitational in Long Beach, California, and then a second time tonight at UCLA. However, the first meeting was rained out, so the teams improvised and agreed to play Tuesday and Wednesday on the Bruins' diamond.

The UCLA-Michigan softball rivalry is near and dear to my heart, as I received my Bachelor's degree from UCLA and Ph.D. from Michigan. With both teams doing so well this season -- each currently ranked in the top 5 nationally -- perhaps a Women's College World Series rematch of the teams' epic 2005 championship series will be in the cards.