We’ve reached the month of March which means softball is officially in full swing and a few of the biggest neutral-site tournaments in the sport are in the rearview mirror. Now the focus swings to team invitationals, which are happening all over the country this weekend.
Oklahoma State will host the OSU/Tulsa Invitational in Stillwater, while Texas Tech will host the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic in Lubbock, Texas. Both teams should have an opportunity to string together some wins, although Oklahoma State better not overlook a 15-2 Stanford team that has beaten its last six opponents by a combined score of 61-2.
The Texas Longhorns have another brutal weekend ahead of them, and perhaps their toughest test yet, as they head to the T-Mobile Crimson Classic where they will face No. 2 Alabama twice. The Crimson Tide are rolling in 2022 and have yet to be challenged much yet this season, so UT will have to be on its best game.
Iowa State has a tough weekend as well, heading to the Wildcat Invitational where they will face a 16th-ranked Arizona squad. They will also face Boise State, North Dakota, Texas State, and Loyola-Chicago while in Tucson.
KU will head to Fullerton, California for the Judi Garman Classic, where they will face two ranked teams in UCLA and Arizona State as well as a pesky Utah team that kept things close with Oklahoma.
Finally, Baylor is set to host a doubleheader with Texas A&M – Corpus Christi and the top-ranked Sooners have the weekend off before facing Minnesota on Monday.
Here is a full rundown of where each team currently stands going into the first weekend in March.
OKLAHOMA (NO. 1); 15-0
The Sooners continued their perfect start last weekend but did face their first true test in a tough Tennessee team that took them the distance and much further. It took a two-run walk-off homer from Jayda Coleman in the 10th inning to put the Lady Vols away 9-8. The story of the weekend was supposed to be Jocelyn Alo hitting No. 96, but it actually ended up being quite the opposite: ALo being walked 10-19 plate appearances. She will break the record, there is no doubt about that, but it will just have to wait. Her next opportunity will come against Minnesota on Monday before the Sooners head to Hawaii, Jocelyn’s home state, for the Rainbow Wahine Classic.
No Games This Weekend
OKLAHOMA STATE (NO. 10); 10-4
The Cowgirls put together a solid weekend of softball in College Station, winning all four games and only surrendering one run. Kelly Maxwell continues to shine with a 0.38 ERA and 5-0 record. The good news for OSU is that both Miranda Elish (11 K’s in 7.0 IP) and Morgan Day (9 K’s in 5.0 IP) had good weekends as well. If they can continue to build momentum and find a way to match Maxwell’s output so far, this will be one of the best pitching staffs in America. They will face a red-hot Stanford team in a doubleheader on Friday before facing Depaul and Minnesota on Sunday.
|Stanford (RV)||Mar 4 (Fri)||2:30 p.m. CT||Stillwater, OK||TV: ESPN+|
|Stanford (RV)||Mar 4 (Fri)||5:00 p.m. CT||Stillwater, OK||TV: ESPN+|
|DePaul||Mar 6 (Sun)||10:00 a.m. CT||Stillwater, OK|
|Minnesota||Mar 6 (Sun)||3:00 p.m. CT||Stillwater, OK||TV: ESPN+|
TEXAS (RV); 10-7
The Longhorns dropped their first game of last weekend Arizona State, 2-0, and it dropped them out of the polls for the first time this season. If you remember, I said that it would be time to worry about Texas if they could come out of last weekend unscathed. It’s time to worry. Especially when you see the No. 2 Crimson Tide on the schedule this weekend. The absence of Shea O’Leary (7.00 ERA, 0-3) has really hurt the Longhorns, while everyone not named Janae Jefferson, Mary Iakopo, or Mia Scott has been underwhelming at the plate so far. They’d better find a way improve, and fast, because if they don’t Montant Fouts and the Crimson Tide will chew them up and spit them out.
|Alabama (#2)||Mar 4 (Fri)||6:00 p.m. CT||Tuscaloosa, AL||TV: SECN+|
|Miami (OH)||Mar 5 (Sat)||12:00 p.m. CT||Tuscaloosa, AL|
|Alabama (#2)||Mar 5 (Sat)||2:30 p.m. CT||Tuscaloosa, AL||TV: SECN+|
|Miami (OH)||Mar 6 (Sun)||10:00 a.m. CT||Tuscaloosa, AL|
IOWA STATE (RV); 10-4
In the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic last weekend, Iowa State gave Washington and UCLA all they wanted but lost in the end. They held UCLA scoreless until a three-run sixth inning that was the difference in the ball game and held Washington to just one run. The Lady Cyclones will get another crack at a ranked Pac-12 team this weekend when they face No. 16 Arizona on Friday. If they can get the bats to warm up again, I think they have a shot to shock the Wildcats at their home tournament.
|Boise State||Mar 4 (Fri)||5:00 p.m. CT||Tucson, AZ||TV: FloSoftball|
|Arizona (#16)||Mar 4 (Fri)||7:00 p.m. CT||Tucson, AZ||TV: PAC-12.com|
|North Dakota||Mar 5 (Sat)||10:00 a.m. CT||Tucson, AZ||TV: FloSoftball|
|Texas State||Mar 6 (Sun)||12:00 p.m. CT||Tucson, AZ||TV: FloSoftball|
|Loyola-Chicago||Mar 6 (Sun)||2:00 p.m. CT||Tucson, AZ||TV: FloSoftball|
BAYLOR (NR); 10-5
Baylor went 2-2 last weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, losing to Oregon State and UCLA. The Bears then swept Prarie View A&M in Waco in Tuesday night’s doubleheader that included Kaci West throwing the first-ever perfect game in Baylor softball history. This weekend the Lady Bears will stay home and host Texas A&M – Corpus Christi in a doubleheader on Saturday before heading to Honolulu, Hawaii for the Rainbow Wahine Classic.
|Texas A&M – Corpus Christi||Mar 5 (Sat)||12:00 p.m. CT||Waco, TX||TV: ESPN+|
|Texas A&M – Corpus Christi||Mar 5 (Sat)||2:30 p.m. CT||Waco, TX||TV: ESPN+|
KANSAS (NR); 7-6
The Jayhawks were supposed to head to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Woo Pig Sooie Tournament last weekend, but the event was canceled for inclement weather. Instead, they hosted Nebraska for a three-game series in Lawrence and won the opening contest 13-6. After that, the Cornhuskers got the better of them in back-to-back contests, 6-4 and 5-3. This weekend, there will be no such thing as inclement weather as KU heads to sunny California for the Judi Garman Classic, hosted by the University of Fullerton. There won’t be an easy game on the schedule all weekend for Kansas and should be a good weekend to see just who this Jayhawks team is.
|Fullerton||Mar 3 (Thu)||5:00 p.m. CT||Fullerton, CA|
|Loyola-Marymount||Mar 3 (Thu)||8:00 p.m. CT||Fullerton, CA|
|Arizona State (#23)||Mar 4 (Fri)||11:30 a.m. CT||Fullerton, CA|
|UCLA (#5)||Mar 4 (Fri)||4:30 p.m. CT||Fullerton, CA|
|Utah||Mar 5 (Sat)||12:00 p.m. CT||Fullerton, CA|
TEXAS TECH (NR); 5-10
The Red Raiders need this home tournament badly, as it has lost 10 of its last 12 games. The good news is that TTU was able to upend No. 14 Northwestern to close their weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on a high note. Now, they have a chance to right their wrongs against North Texas and Southern in the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic. If they can win all five games and get to 10-10 it could set them up nicely to finish the non-conference slate well above .500.
|North Texas||Mar 4 (Fri)||6:00 p.m. CT||Lubbock, TX||TV: ESPN+|
|North Texas||Mar 5 (Sat)||1:30 p.m. CT||Lubbock, TX||TV: ESPN+|
|Southern||Mar 5 (Sat)||4:00 p.m. CT||Lubbock, TX||TV: ESPN+|
|North Texas||Mar 6 (Sun)||12:30 p.m. CT||Lubbock, TX||TV: ESPN+|
|Southern||Mar 6 (Sun)||3:00 p.m. CT||Lubbock, TX||TV: ESPN+|