Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Preview
Arizona softball will be heading to Palm Springs, California this week, where it will take part in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic held Feb. 22–24.
The ‘Cats enter the tournament sitting at an 8-1 record, coming off of a stretch of dominant performances in the Hillenbrand Invitational. Through the four games in Tucson, the team outscored its opponents 21-1, while allowing only nine hits — not to mention two one-hitters thrown by junior pitcher Taylor McQuillin and freshman pitcher Hannah Bowen.
On Thursday, the Wildcats play two games: North Carolina at 11:30 a.m. and Missouri at 4:30 p.m.
So far, North Carolina has a record of 5-5 and is currently on a three-game losing streak. Of those three games, they were shut out in two of them.
Missouri sits at a record of 6-5, but they enter the tournament on a two-game winning streak. Offense has not been a problem for Mizzou thus far, as they have put up 62 runs in 76 innings played, including a game against California State Northridge, in which the final was 19-10 in favor of Missouri.
On Friday, Arizona will once again be in action twice, first against St. John’s (New York) at 11 a.m., then against the aforementioned California State Northridge at 1:30 p.m.
St. John’s has only played five games this season, two against Eastern Carolina, two against Florida International and one against No. 24 South Carolina. They split games with both ECU and FIU, but then lost to the Gamecocks, 6-3.
CSUN comes into the tournament holding a record of 4-6. The season got off to a rough start for the Matadors in the Kajikawa Classic. They allowed 57 runs in just five games and only held their opponent to under eight runs once.
Then on Saturday, the Wildcats will have their toughest test of the season so far, playing No. 4 Oklahoma. The defending national champions are currently 6-1. The Sooners started their season off by sweeping their opening tournament, the GCU Kickoff Tournament, outscoring opponents 35-4 in the five games. OU dropped its first game of the season to Boston University, 4-3, before reeling off six wins in a row to enter the upcoming tournament.
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