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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.