Thursday, February 18, 2016

Double Dose of Nutter Classic This Year

This year's Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, California (near Palm Springs) has a new feature this year -- two weekends of play -- encompassing 44 schools. A chart of participating teams is available here.

The first weekend, running tomorrow through Sunday (February 19-21), features 19 teams. The leading squads (with their rankings in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NCFA polls) are as follows: No. 4/4 LSU, No. 7/8 UCLA, No. 9/11 Washington, No. 10 (tie)/9 Arizona, and No. 16/15 Central Florida.

The second weekend (Feb. 25-28), 29 teams will take the field. (Adding 19 and 29 suggests that 48 teams are participating, but four schools -- UCLA, Washington, Bethune Cookman, and Loyola Marymount -- are playing both weekends.)

Teams playing only during the second weekend include No. 1/1 Florida, No. 2/2 Michigan, No. 5/6 Oregon, No. 10 (tie)/14 Oklahoma, No. 12/10 Georgia, and No. 13/16 Missouri.