Top-notch college softball makes annual trip to desert

Top-notch college softball makes annual trip to desert

News

Top-notch college softball makes annual trip to desert

The sound a softball makes when popping into the glove of a catcher after being thrown by an elite level college pitcher is distinct. It’s a loud thump and it carries with it a reverberation that something pretty impressive just happened.

Notre Dame Figihting Irish' Micaela Arizmendi (right) gets a high five from teammate Cassidy Whidden after scoring a double during The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic held at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City on Sunday morning, February 23, 2014. Photo by Gerry Maceda, Special to The Desert Sun

Notre Dame Figihting Irish’ Micaela Arizmendi (right) gets a high five from teammate Cassidy Whidden after scoring a double during The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic held at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City on Sunday morning, February 23, 2014. Photo by Gerry Maceda, Special to The Desert Sun

Anyway, that sound will again fill the Cathedral City air as the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic — now a two-weekend affair — kicks off Friday with 16 teams battling over three days. Then next weekend, from Thursday, Feb. 23 though Sunday, Feb. 26, 35 more teams will come to town to do it all over again. The second weekend is a particularly high-octane affair with a field that includes defending NCAA champion Oklahoma and six of the eight teams that made last year’s World Series.

The first weekend isn’t short on talent, either.

Starting Friday you can watch the likes of UCLA, Cal, Oregon, Arkansas, Illinois and Kentucky representing the big conferences. The rest of the field includes smaller schools, many from California — Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge, Loyola Marymount, St. Mary’s, UC Davis and San Diego — and some from out of state — Kent State, Liberty, Central Florida and Utah Valley. Those are your 16 teams.

In all, 15 of the top 25 teams in the current USA Today/NFCA Poll will be in the desert, including seven of the top 10 — Florida State, Oklahoma, UCLA, LSU, Washington, Oregon and Arizona.

All the action takes place at Big League Dreams (33700 Date Palm Dr, Cathedral City) and games start as early as 9:30 a.m. and go until 11 p.m. This marks the 14th year of this popular event.

Mary Nutter, by the way, was born in Michigan and graduated from Michigan State. She was a fast-pitch softball lifer. She played at the amateur and pro level and became a coach after her playing days were done. She formed a business conducting softball playing and coaching clinics across the country and is generally considered one of the sport’s greatest ambassadors.

Watch them play

What: The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, a college softball tournament

When: Feb. 17-19 and Feb. 23-26 with games beginning each day at 9:30 a.m. and going until 11 p.m.

Where: Big League Dreams 33700 Date Palm Dr. Cathedral City

Who: Several of the nation’s top teams, including defending NCAA champions Oklahoma on the second week

Tickets: $25 a day for adults; $10 for seniors 65 and over or students 17 and under; $5 for kids 10 and under. 

Website: Purchase tickets, parking details, participating teams and schedule at marynutterclassic.wordpress.com

Mary Nutter Classic Weekend One Schedule

FRIDAY’S GAMES

Wrigley Field

10 a.m.: Kentucky vs. UC Davis

12:30 p.m.: Kentucky vs. Oregon

3 p.m.: Ken State vs. Oregon

5:30 p.m.: UCLA vs. Cal Poly

8 p.m.: UCLA vs. UCF

Yankee Stadium

10:30 a.m.: Liberty vs. Loyola Marymount

1 p.m.: Liberty vs. UC Davis

3:30 p.m.: Illinois vs. Cal

6 p.m.: Illinois vs. St. Mary’s 

8:30 p.m.: Kent State vs. San Diego

Fenway Park

10 a.m.: St. Mary’s vs. Utah Valley

12:30 p.m.: San Diego vs. Utah Valley

3 p.m.: UCF vs. Cal Poly

5:30 p.m.: LMU vs. Arkansas

8 p.m.: CSUN vs. Arkansas

SATURDAY’S GAMES

Wrigley Field

10 a.m.: Oregon vs. Liberty

12:30 p.m.: Oregon vs. CSUN

3 p.m.: UCLA vs. UC Davis

5:30 p.m.: UCLA vs. Kentucky

8 p.m.: CSUN vs. Kentucky

Yankee Stadium

9:30 a.m.: UC Davis vs. Illinois

Noon: Arkansas vs. Illinois

2:30 p.m.: Cal Poly vs. Utah Valley

5 p.m.: San Diego vs. Arkansas

7:30 p.m.: San Diego vs. Cal Poly

Fenway Park

9:30 a.m.: Kent State vs. St. Mary’s 

Noon: Kent State vs. Cal

2:30 p.m.: Cal vs. UCF

5 p.m.: UCF vs. Loyola Marymount

7:30 p.m.: Utah Valley vs. LMU

Des Moines Field

Noon: St. Mary’s vs. Liberty

SUNDAY’S GAMES

Wrigley Field

9 a.m.: Oregon vs. Illinois

11:30 a.m.: Cal Poly vs. Liberty

2 p.m.: UCLA vs. Liberty

Yankee Stadium

9 a.m.: Arkansas vs. Kent State

11:30 a.m.: Cal vs. San Diego

Fenway Park

10 a.m.: St. Mary’s vs. CSUN

12:30 p.m.: LMU vs. CSUN

Des Moines Field

10 a.m.: Utah Valley vs. UC Davis

More USA Today High School Sports
Home