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Monday, February 27, 2017

2017 Mary Nutter Classic Round-Up

The big winner at the Mary Nutter Classic appears to be Texas A&M. The Aggies went 5-0 in Cathedral City, including wins over No. 1 Florida State, No. 14 Michigan, No. 21 Arizona State, and No. 23 BYU, to extend their overall record to 15-0.

Full scores from this past weekend's Mary Nutter play are available here. Another non-win on FSU's schedule was a 5-5 tie with Michigan, in a game terminated due to the Seminoles' travel considerations. As noted in this Michigan article, Wolverines' "senior RHP Megan Betsa struck out the side in the top of the eighth, but the game was called -- without U-M getting a chance to hit in the bottom half..."

Preseason No. 1 Oklahoma suffered its third and fourth losses on the season, falling to Tennessee and Notre Dame at the Mary Nutter.

Utah had a nice early run, shutting out No. 13 Tennessee and No. 7 LSU (both by 3-0 scores), as well as unranked Houston (by an 8-0 tally). However, the Utes dropped their final two games to San Diego State and Cal State Fullerton.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

2017 Mary Nutter (Cathedral City) Classic

The second (more extensive) weekend of play gets underway today in the annual Mary Nutter Classic. The tournament is played in Cathedral City, California, near Palm Springs.

Nearly half of the 35 teams playing this weekend are ranked nationally, including consensus No. 1 Florida State and No. 4/5 Oklahoma. Eight of the nine softball-fielding schools in the Pac 12 are playing this weekend in Cathedral City (the exception is Oregon, which was part of the Nutter's first weekend).

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekend Round-Up (February 9-12, 2017)

No one could run the table at the Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, tournament.

Auburn, which won the opener over Oklahoma, lost to Washington, 2-1, in 10 innings later that same day.

Washington also beat Oklahoma, 1-0, giving the Sooners a 2-2 record in the event.

However, Washington lost, 4-2 to BYU, depriving the Huskies of a perfect record in Puerto Vallarta.

Over in Tampa, the University of Florida swept its five games in the USF-Wilson DeMarini tournament. The Gators' weekend included a 10-inning, 2-1, win over Michigan. The Wolverines also fell to host South Florida, 6-4, in the tourney.

It's obviously very early in the season, but it looks like the top teams are going to be very competitive with each other.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Auburn Defeats Oklahoma in 2017 Season Opener

No. 2 Auburn beat No. 1 Oklahoma, 3-2, in the season-opening Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, tournament. The Tigers were in control most of the game, with the Sooners' two runs coming in the bottom of the seventh.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

2017 Preseason Polls

Welcome to the College Softball Blog for the 2017 season, which begins this weekend. The blog, now in its 12th season, has a new look, which I hope you like!

Three preseason polls are out, the longstanding ones from ESPN/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA, plus one from a newcomer, Flo Softball (see links in the right-hand column). I have compiled the rankings and averaged them to get an overall impression. You may click on the following graphic to enlarge it.

Defending NCAA champion Oklahoma is ranked No. 1 in all three polls. Last year's runner-up Auburn is ranked No. 2 in the average of the three polls, followed by Florida State, Florida, and LSU.

Oklahoma and Auburn get right back on the diamond against each other, opening the season tomorrow in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at 1:00 Central (televised on ESPN U).

Another match-up of top teams will occur Saturday morning, as Florida and Michigan face off in the University of South Florida tournament.

A season preview by Graham Hays of ESPN-W is available here.