SWEEPS CHARACTERIZE BIG 12 OPENING WEEKEND #NCAASOFTBALL
I don't know how many fans took brooms out to Big 12 softball fields today, but it would have been appropriate, as all three of the conference's opening-weekend* series ended in three-game sweeps:
Kansas over Oklahoma State and#40;linkand#41;;
Oklahoma over Iowa State and#40;all three wins via run-rule; linkand#41;; and
Baylor over Texas Tech and#40;linkand#41;.
The reason for the late start to Big 12 conference play is that relatively few series are needed, given how few schools field teams. Despite its name, the conference has only 10 institutions to begin with. Further, three of them -- Texas Christian and#40;TCUand#41;, Kansas State, and West Virginia -- don't field softball teams, yielding only seven squads.---*Baylor and Texas played once before this weekend, a game won by the Longhorns.
published March 30, 2014 at 10:17pm EDT
SEC, PAC 12 BEGIN NCAA SOFTBALL CONFERENCE PLAY
Among the major conferences, league play begins this weekend in the SEC and Pac 12. In the SEC, national No. 1 Florida headlines the schedule with a three-game series at LSU and#40;Friday, Saturday, Sundayand#41;. In the Pac 12, the marquee match-up is a three-game series featuring Arizona at UCLA, in an unusual Saturday-Sunday-Monday format.
published March 14, 2014 at 6:51pm EDT
MICHIGAN HANDS UCLA ITS FIRST LOSS OF THE YEAR, GAINS SPLIT IN SERIES (NCAA SOFTBALL)
The following Twitter tweet says it all...
Ground out to Ramirez ends the game! U-M wins 9-4, handing UCLA its first loss of the season #GoBlueandmdash; Michigan Softball and#40;@umichsoftballand#41; March 6, 2014
Shortstop Sierra Romero led the Wolverines, falling a triple shy of the cycle and#40;see box score and play-by-playand#41;. Tonight's win gives Michigan and#40;14-3and#41; a split in the two-game series after last night's extra-inning Bruin victory. UCLA is now 17-1. Originally, the teams were supposed to play once last Sunday in the Louisville Slugger Invitational in Long Beach, California, and then a second time tonight at UCLA. However, the first meeting was rained out, so the teams improvised and agreed to play Tuesday and Wednesday on the Bruins' diamond.The UCLA-Michigan softball rivalry is near and dear to my heart, as I received my Bachelor's degree from UCLA and Ph.D. from Michigan. With both teams doing so well this season -- each currently ranked in the top 5 nationally -- per [Read More
published March 6, 2014 at 1:25am EST
MARY NUTTER/CATHEDRAL CITY TOURNAMENT NCAA SOFTBALL
The 35-team Mary Nutter Classic and#40;previously known as the Cathedral City Classsicand#41; begins today in the Palm Springs area. As the tournament website states, "Five of the eight teams from the 2013 NCAA Womenandrsquo;s College World Series, including defending champion Oklahoma, will be at this years tournament. and#40;Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, Texas, Nebraskaand#41;." The field includes additional top programs such as Arizona, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, and Oregon, from the Pac 12; Missouri, Texas Aandamp;M, and LSU from the SEC; and Northwestern from the Big 10.
published February 20, 2014 at 5:15pm EST
ARIZONA SHUTS OUT NO. 4 ALABAMA -- TWICE! NCAA SOFTBALL
The University of Arizona softball program has won eight NCAA championships, but has been down a little the last few seasons, not having made the Women's College World Series since 2010. It's still very early in the season, but the Wildcats may be back!This weekend, the No. 24/22 andnbsp;Wildcats went 6-0 at home in the Hillenbrand Invitational, advancing to 9-0 overall. Particularly newsworthy is that Arizona recorded a pair of shutouts over No. 4/6 Alabama. U of A's first shutout over Alabama occurred yesterday, with the Wildcats winning 3-0 behind the pitching of Estela Piandntilde;on and Kenzie Fowler. The Wildcats then blanked the Crimson Tide again today, this time in run-rule fashion and#40;8-0 in five inningsand#41;, with Shelby Babcock in the circle for Arizona. It appears that few, if any, schools will be able to match the Wildcats' pitching depth this season.Wildcat shortstop Kellie Fox, a transfer from UCLA and younger sister of former U of A great Kristie Fox, hit four homers over [Read More
published February 16, 2014 at 10:08pm EST
HOW LEADING TEAMS DID -- WEEK 1 NCAA SOFTBALL
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association and#40;NFCAand#41; has put out this document, showing how all of the nation's leading teams did in their games from February 3-9. Summaries are available for all teams in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25, plus all teams that received votes in the poll but didn't make the Top 25. I assume the NFCA will do this every week, so interested readers might want to check the NFCA website every Sunday night. Here are some noteworthy results from this weekend's play:
Defending NCAA champion and preseason No. 2 Oklahoma losing its first two games of the season, to Kentucky and Cal State Fullerton.
No. 4 Florida scoring a stunning come-from-behind victory over No. 5 Michigan. As shown in the play-by-play sheet and#40;under the box scoreand#41;, the Gators were down to their final out in the top of the seventh, with one runner on base and trailing 4-0. However, Florida then put together three hits, a hit-batter, a walk, and another hit to tie the game 4-4. After the Wol [Read More
published February 9, 2014 at 10:19pm EST
2014 NCAA SOFTBALL SEASON GETS UNDERWAY
The 2014 college softball season is now underway, with a variety of weekend tournaments going on. andnbsp;Most years, the Kajikawa Classic at Arizona State is the premier opening-weekend event. However, this year's field looks weaker than those of earlier years. This weekend's marquee event, instead, is probably the Wilson-DeMarini tourney at the University of South Florida. This tournament includes a Saturday match-up of No. 3/4 Florida against No. 4/5 Michigan.
published February 6, 2014 at 10:25pm EST
USSSA FLORIDA PRIDE DEFEATED THE LSU SOFTBALL TEAM BY A SCORE OF 11-0 DURING AN EXHIBITION GAME
Photo by: Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
BATON ROUGE, LA andndash; October 1, 2013 andndash; The USSSA Florida Pride defeated the LSU softball team by a score of 11-0 during an exhibition game Monday at Tiger Park which featured a pitching match-up between former LSU teammates Ashley Czechner and Rachele Fico.
During her senior season, Fico received NFCA All-America First-Team honors for the second straight season to become only the third player in program history joining Ashlee Ducote and#40;1998 andamp; 2000and#41; and Britni Sneed and#40;2001 andamp; 2002and#41; to accomplish that feat. She also received NFCA All-South First-Team, All-SEC Second-Team and All-Louisiana First-Team Accolades.
andldquo;I think facing Fico was just fun for everybody,andrdquo; said LSU head coach Beth Torina. andldquo;It was just nice to have this opportunity for our fans to let them see this caliber of softball on our field. So just having her here and having her back is fun. It was exciting.andrdquo;
The [Read More
published October 1, 2013 at 12:03pm EDT
WHO WANTS A FULL-RIDE? A FEW TIPS ON WHAT COLLEGE COACHES LOOK FOR DURING RECRUITING
The main question that young women have for college athletes is,
andnbsp;andldquo;How did you get a full-ride scholarship?andrdquo;
The easy answer is get good grades and work really hard. Unfortunately, that is a vague answer and it does not help young women prepare the way that is necessary to receive the great reward of a full-ride scholarship. A full-ride scholarship is a reward given to athletes that pays full tuition, room and board, textbooks, athletic gear and meals. As awesome as a full-ride scholarship sounds it is not easily earned. Here are some tips for how to receive one:
Grades: Student-athlete NOT athlete-student! A school cannot play an athlete that has not done the proper work in the classroom due to NCAA rules. Many athletes do not make it into college because they do not have the acceptable GPA and SAT or ACT scores after high school. A coach will sometimes overlook an athlete with low grades because when season comes around they need eligible players. IF yo [Read More
published August 6, 2013 at 1:04pm EDT
SOONERS PITCHER KEILANI RICKETTS WINS 2013 HONDA CUP
Sooners softball fans were hardly surprised when Keilani Ricketts, who dominated collegiate softball all season, was named the 2013 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Yearandnbsp;and recipient of The Honda Cup. Ricketts, whoandnbsp;has been called andldquo;her sportandrsquo;s Babe Ruth,andrdquo; was presented the prestigious award tonight in a live telecast from USCandrsquo;s Galen Center Founders Club in downtown Los Angeles. Softball legend andnbsp;Lisa Fernandez,andnbsp;the first softball player to win the Honda Cup in 1993, immediately jumped up from her seat for a standing ovation.
andldquo;Keilani is a great person to represent collegiate womenandrsquo;s sports, and softball in particular as it looks to re-enter the Olympic programme. When we showcase the nationandrsquo;s best of the best in collegiate athletics live on ESPNU, we are delighted to honor an athlete like Keilani,andrdquo; said Jean Lenti Ponsetto, CWSA Chairwoman of the Board and Athletics Director at DePaul University. andldquo;Keilani is [Read More
published June 25, 2013 at 6:29pm EDT