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.