Texas A&M- I thought the Aggies might have a good year this season and they are proving me right as they continue to rack up impressive wins against ranked competition. Those winning ways continued this past weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic tournament. They started off by getting head coach Jo Evans her 800th win with a 5-0 victory over Long Beach State. Coach Evans in her 21st year in the program, holds an 800-394-2 record and has led the Aggies to 15 consecutive NCAA Regionals. The team also had a huge win against #1 Florida State, 2-0. Ace pitcher Samantha Show got 15-strikeouts while allowing just four hits in her fifth victory of the season. They also defeated #21 Arizona State, 2-1, in a 9-innings game. And defeated both #23 BYU, 11-1, and #14 Michigan, 3-0 on Saturday. In game one Show gave up just two hits in six innings with eight strikeouts. Against MichiganTrinity Harrington earned her fourth win of the season, scattering five hits in six innings with three strikeouts. Trailing 9-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Texas softball sent 10 batters to the plate, scored four times and brought the eventual go-ahead run to the plate before suffering its first loss of the Mary Nutter Classic Saturday night against Arizona State 9-6. On Sunday morning during the finale of the Mary Nutter Classic Texas lost their game to Washington 7-2.
Florida- On Friday the first day of the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic the Gators shutout both Syracuse and Fordham for wins. In game one Aleshia Ocasio and sophomore Kelly Barnhill combined efforts to defeat the Orange 2-0. In game two it was Delanie Gourley who recorded her ninth career one-hitter and second of the season as the Gators beat Fordham 4-0. Next up the Gators won their second extra-inning game of the year 2-1 with a win in 10 innings against Liberty and also defeated Elon 11-0. The University of Florida recorded its sixth shutout in seven contests with another dominant pitching performance as the team downed Lehigh 5-0 on the final day of the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Sophomore pitcher Kelly Barnhill faced a total of 13 batters through four innings and recorded 11 strikeouts compared to just one walk with no hits.
South Carolina- The Gamecocks beat NDSU 1-0. Junior Krystan White triples in a 2-for-2 day to set up the game-winning run while SC pitchers Elliott & Blue combine for the two-hit shutout. In another shutout effort in the circle, this one solely from senior Nickie Blue, she led South Carolina to a 1-0 win over North Dakota State on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. South Carolina junior Jordyn Augustus downed College of Charleston in an 8-2 game on Sunday afternoon to wrap the Gamecock Invitational at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Missouri-Mizzou opened the 2017 Mary Nutter Classic on Thursday evening with a doubleheader against Notre Dame and Texas. Following a 8-0 run-rule victory over the Fighting Irish in game one, the Tigers closed their evening with a 10-3 loss to the Longhorns in game two. Mizzou next had a thrilling 9-5 comeback win over #7 Washington on Friday afternoon, in day two of the 2017 Mary Nutter Classic. Redshirt sophomore Madi Norman got her third complete game of the season. Mizzou also dropped a pair of tough games on Saturday in its 2017 Mary Nutter Classic finale. The Tigers fell 4-1 to Nebraska in game one of their doubleheader, followed by a 6-5 walk-off loss to UC Santa Barbara.
Pitt- On day one of the Troy Classic Pitt loss their first game of the season to Lipscomb 1-0, before getting back on track beating Southeastern Louisiana 10-4 at Troy Softball Complex in Troy, Alabama. Pitt then went 1-1 on the second day of the Troy Classic, defeating Lipscomb 4-3, before falling to Troy 7-5 in extra innings, on Saturday.
Junior pitcher Kayla Harris tossed a perfect game as the Panthers defeated Southeastern Louisiana 5-0 Sunday, Feb. 26 in the team’s final game of the Troy Classic in Troy, Alabama. “Today was so exciting,” said Pitt head coach Holly Aprile. “A perfect game is such a hard thing to achieve. A no-hitter is hard, but to have a perfect game is a real accomplishment.” Harris’ performance comes just a year after pitcher Sarah Dawson threw Pitt’s first perfect game in program history. Dawson, a freshman in 2016, threw a five-inning, 15 out game in a 13-0 win over Providence Feb. 27, 2016.
Tennessee- Star freshman Caylan Arnold outdueled Oklahoma’s Paige Parker as the Volunteers held off a late rally to defeat the defending national champions, 2-1, on Thursday evening at the Marry Nutter Classic. Tennessee also got an 8-3 win over UC Santa Barbara. Then Matty Moss led the way as Tennessee won their 1,000th game in program history with a 5-0 win over Nebraska at the Mary Nutter Classic. 767 of those wins have come under the leadership of co-head coaches Ralph Weekly and Karen Weekly, who took over in 2002. Friday night the team got their first loss of the season to Utah. The 13-0 start was the best for the Vols since they started 14-0 during the 2014 season. Then Freshman Caylan Arnold made her seventh start of the season and was stuck with her first loss as a Vols’ comeback fell short suffering a 4-2 Loss to Texas.
Auburn-Kendall Veach tallied a career-high four RBI as Auburn defeated North Dakota 6-0 on Thursday night. Kaylee Carlson and Makayla Martin combined for seven shutout innings and six strikeouts, while allowing just three hits in the contest played at Jane B. Moore Field. Then in a doubleheader sweep they defeated UMass-Lowell, 13-0, and North Dakota, 8-0, in consecutive shutouts that were both decided by run-rule in the Tiger Invitational. Auburn then defeated Yale, 9-0, and #13 James Madison, 4-0, in back-to-back shutouts Saturday. Auburn fell for the first time at home in 2017 with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of #13 James Madison Sunday afternoon in its annual Pink Game.
Kentucky-Behind strong pitching, defense and hitting from junior Erin Rethlake, Kentucky opened day one of the Florida Atlantic Invitational 2-0 on Friday with wins over both Connecticut and Florida A&M. Then led by senior pitchers Shannon Smith and Meagan Prince Kentucky swept Memphis and Florida Atlantic in the FAU Invitational. Behind a two-hit outing from junior pitcher Erin Rethlake and a second-inning grand slam from junior Rachael Metzger, Kentucky defeated Memphis12-0 on Sunday afternoon to wrap up the 2017 Florida Atlantic Invitational championship, finishing the weekend at 5-0.
Ole Miss- On Day One of the Hatter Invitational the Rebels run-ruled, Colgate,14-2 and USF, 8-0. Ole Miss then pushed its win streak to eight games, topping Colgate, 8-2, and Stetson, 3-0, Saturday in the second day of the Hatter Invitational. With Kaitlin Lee in the circle, and a powerful offense with 14 hits, Ole Miss softball completed the weekend sweep defeating #23 USF, 12-1, Sunday at the Hatter Invitational.
Louisiana-Thursday in the Mardi Gras Invitational held at Lamson Park in Lafayette, La. The Ragin’ Cajuns beat Drake 9-3 and Bowling Green 14-2 (5-innings). Then Haley Hayden went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving in three runs and belting her second home run in as many days as the Ragin’ Cajuns built a 6-1 lead after three innings and defeated Dartmouth, 12-5, on Friday in the Mardi Gras Invitational. On Saturday they defeated Maryland 3-0. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball closed the Mardi Gras Invitational at Lamson Park with a split on Sunday, falling to Bradley 2-1on a late-game home run and posting a 19-0 run-rule win over Mississippi Valley.
Texas-On Thursday evening in its Mary Nutter Classic opener Texas got a 4-3 victory over Notre Dame. Then they defeated Missouri 10-3. Texas also won its season-best fifth-consecutive game with a 9-1 victory over Bethune Cookman.
LSU-Participating in its first set of away games the Tigers defeated New Mexico State 9-0 in five innings in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. In game two it was LSU 12, Bethune-Cookman 1 (5 inn.) Thursday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic LSU defeated Long Beach State 13-0 in five innings.
Georgia- The team suffered its first losses of the season falling to BYU 4-0 and UCLA 10-5 on Thursday. On Friday they lost to Notre Dame 10-7 but in game two got a victory over Northwestern 2-0 to close out Friday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer recorded her 1,000th career win after the Bulldogs defeated Cal State Fullerton 6-4 on Saturday night at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Arkansas-The team played Friday in the FAU Invitational, getting a 5-0 win over Florida A&M before suffering their first loss of the season in a 3-1 to tourney host Florida Atlantic. In Saturday play the Razorbacks got a 3-2 win over Connecticut in eight innings followed by a 4-2 victory over Memphis. Arkansas softball closed out the tourney weekend with a 9-0 win over Florida A&M.
Alabama-The tide scored 11 combined runs in two wins Friday at the Easton Bama Bash, shutting out UCF, 4-0, before defeating Texas Tech, 7-2. Alabama then shut out Gardner-Webb, 9-0, in five innings and Texas Tech, 8-0, in six innings to win both games. On Sunday Alabama edged out the UCF Knights, 3-2, to cap an undefeated weekend at the Easton Bama Bash.
Mississippi State-On Friday Mississippi State def. North Florida, 7-5 and Eastern Illinois, 4-1. Saturday at Nusz Park the Bulldogs defeated Southern Illinois 5-2, and North Florida 4-1, to advance to Sunday’s February Freezer championship game. The Mississippi State Bulldogs then defeated Southern Illinois 6-2 to capture the 2017 February Freezer Championship on Sunday.