The Cathedral City Classic, hosted by Oregon State, took place the last weekend in February at the University Big League Dreams Sports Complex in Palm Springs, CA. The event featured 34 of the top Division I softball programs from across the country over four days of tournament action. The entire atmosphere was incredible right down to the smell, noise and feel. It was great to be back in the atmosphere of big time DI softball. Some of the top teams in attendance included UCLA, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Indiana, Texas A&M, Fullerton, Hawaii, Oregon State and Oklahoma.
There were some great games played on Friday. Florida defeated defending National Champion UCLA 4-1 and Oregon State squared off against Georgia in a slug fest, with Georgia finishing on top 12-7. Other match-ups proved to be closer, including Long Beach State’s 2-1 win over Oklahoma and BYU overtaking Nebraska 4-3.
Saturday brought just as much excitement, with more talented programs facing off in Palm Springs. The tournament did not end without a few upsets and I saw routs of Top 10 ranked teams, including Tennessee’s win over UCLA 7-1 and Georgia’s shut-out of Arizona 8-0. Long Island lost to Texas 10-0 but turned around to beat Oregon State 3-0. Highlights from Saturday also included LSU hitting three back-to-back-to-back homeruns during a 6th inning rally on their way to a comeback win against Fordham 6-2. All told it was another great day from the Cathedral City Classic, with plenty of strong performances and great plays.
This was just an amazing tournament, complete with representation from the Big 12, SEC, Big East, PAC 10, Big 10, ACC, WAC, MWC, Atlantic 10, Northeast and West Coast Conferences. Syracuse (5-0), Florida (5-0), Cal (5-0), Georgia (4-1), Texas (4-1), Nebraska (4-1) and Oklahoma State (4-1) put up impressive numbers in an early statement to the competition. Other teams finished strong, including Indiana (3-2), Northwestern (3-2), UCLA (3-2), Virginia (3-2) and Fordham (3-2).
It seemed like every game fans filled the seats, from parents, to youth teams, to spectators that just enjoy the game of softball. They were treated to home runs, double plays, plays at the plate, diving plays and come from behind wins, leaving each field full of cheers. It was just good old-fashioned, darn good softball.
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see, feel and breathe in the experience of softball at its finest!