Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday (3/27/17) Updates

Auburn, seeking to salvage the final game of its three-game series at Florida, leads 1-0 on a second-inning homer by Kendall Veach (video)... The Gators fail to take advantage of runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the fourth... Auburn pitcher Kaylee Carlson makes the one run stand up, as 1-0 is the final... Auburn coach Clint Myers, who previously had coached at Arizona State, gets his 1,500th career win. (Arizona's Mike Candrea had gotten his 1,500th win just days earlier.)

Rain cancels Oregon at Utah finale.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday (3/26/17) Updates

Arizona has swept Washington, 5-2 in the finale, giving Wildcat coach Mike Candrea his 1,500th career win.

Oregon has moved to 28-0 with a 12-3 win over Utah in the teams' series opener. Ducks take second game of the doubleheader, as well, raising their record to 29-0.

Florida beats Auburn 7-0 in the second game of the teams' three-game series.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday (3/25/17) Updates

Florida has taken a 2-0 lead over Auburn in the bottom of the second in their series opener (airing on ESPN 2). There was a controversial play at the plate, in which Auburn's catcher appeared to tag the Florida runner in time, but was ruled to have bobbled the ball while doing so... Top 3: Auburn leaves bases loaded for second straight inning... Florida falls behind 3-2, then scores a pair in the bottom of the seventh to win 4-3. Video highlights here.

Last night, Arizona's Danielle O'Toole no-hit Washington in the teams' series opener. The Wildcats followed up this afternoon with a 12-0 rout, limiting the Huskies to two hits.

Oregon's series opener at Utah today has been rained out, so there will be a doubleheader tomorrow.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Four Top Conferences Now in League Play; Key Tilts in Pac 12 & SEC

The Big 12 opens conference play today. Only two Big 12 teams, Baylor (26-5) and Oklahoma (24-7), avoided double-digit losses in non-conference play. With only seven softball-fielding schools, one school must play non-conference games or take the weekend off. This weekend, Oklahoma faces Mississippi State. Baylor plays at Kansas.

Last weekend in the Pac 12 (which has nine softball schools), all four series were 3-0 sweeps. By coincidence, all the teams that went 3-0 are facing each other this weekend. Washington (24-3, 3-0) travels to Arizona (29-1, 3-0), and Oregon (27-0, 3-0) plays at Utah (21-4, 3-0).

Several SEC series begin today (most notably, No. 15 Georgia at No. 11 LSU). The headliner event within the SEC, however, starts Saturday, as No. 6/4 Auburn visits No. 1/2 Florida.

Finally, the B1G also begins conference play. Minnesota, a consensus No. 8 nationally, plays at Nebraska. Michigan, at an uncharacteristically low No. 19/18, hosts Penn State, and No. 22/21 Wisconsin is at Northwestern.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Utah Sweeps Three From UCLA

UCLA doesn't get swept three games at home in a conference series very often, but it happened this weekend as No. 20 Utah took out the broom on the No. 10 Bruins.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Monday, March 06, 2017

2017 Judi Garman Classic Round-Up

No. 1/3 Florida went 5-0 at the Judi Garman Classic, including a win over No. 8/7 UCLA. The Gators' smallest winning margin was three runs (vs. Northwestern).

Baylor put together an impressive string of four wins in the Garman, before losing its finale to host Cal State Fullerton. According to an article from the Baylor athletics website:

The UCLA game marked the fourth-straight win for the Lady Bears over a top-20 opponent, with BU notching wins over No. 20 Arizona State, No. 14 Michigan, No. 7/8 Washington, and No. 8/7 UCLA.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

2017 Judi Garman Classic Preview; Weird Week for Texas A&M

This year's Judi Garman Classic at Cal State Fullerton, featuring 14 teams, gets underway today. Over the years, the Garman has shifted from late to mid to early March, so that now it comes the week after the Mary Nutter Classic. Possibly the two tournaments are now held consecutively so that teams can participate in both with just one trip to southern California (albeit a long trip!).

Leading teams in the Garman include No. 1/3 Florida (15-1); No. 8/7 UCLA (13-3); No. 7/8 Washington (11-2); and No. 14/14 Michigan (9-4-1).

***

Texas A&M, which is hosting its own small tournament this weekend, has had a strange week. The Aggies beat the previous No. 1 team, as well as three other nationally ranked teams, in last weekend's Mary Nutter Classic, to advance their record to 15-0 at the time.

The wins vaulted the Aggies from 18th to fifth place in both major national polls, with the team also getting a substantial number of first-place votes. Texas A&M received the second-highest number of first-place votes (6) in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, and the third-highest number of first-place votes (5) in the USA Today/NFCA poll.

One would not have expected Wednesday's midweek tilt with the 6-and-11 Houston Cougars to derail A&M's momentum. As they say, however, that's why they play the games. Final score: UH 1, A&M 0.