Feb. 22, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. – The Palm Springs/Cathedral City Classic is one of the premiere softball tournaments in Division I. The 10th-ranked Sooners made their first appearance at the event in 2006, where they opened with a 1-0 shutout over the No. 22 Oregon Ducks on Feb. 23, 2006. Since then, the Sooners have performed well in the Classic posting a 16-6 record in the tournament.
The game against the Ducks proved to be a battle of pitchers. With only seven hits recorded between the two teams, OU’s Stacy Braddock came out on top. Braddock pitched her second shutout of the year and held the Ducks to only five hits while striking out six batters in seven innings. Opposing pitcher Amy Harris allowed only two hits, one of which cost Oregon the game.
The only run of the game came during the fifth inning. Savannah Long finally broke Harris with a single to right center. This advanced Jade Prather, who had reached base due to an error by the Ducks. Prather eventually scored the run for the Sooners that secured the win. The other hit in the game for the Sooners was by Norrelle Dickson.
With this win, the Sooners improved to 10-1-1 on the year and posted their first win over a top-25 team during the 2006 season. Other wins in the tournament included vicoties over UC Santa Barbara (6-2), Cal Poly-SLO (5-2) and an 8-5 victory over Pacific.
In 2007, the Sooners put together their best tournament performance with a perfect 5-0 record. OU defeated two top-25 opponents- No. 6 Oregon State (4-1) and No. 16 California by an impressive eight runs (11-3). The 2008 tournament saw wins over Pacific (14-5) and No. 24 UMass (5-3). In 2009, OU went 4-1 with victories over No.3 Arizona State (8-6), No. 17 Nevada (11-2), No. 24 UMass (5-3) and Cal Poly-SLO (3-2).
The Cathedral Classic plays host to many of the country’s top teams each year to provide some tough early season competition. The 2010 tournament consists of a 31-team field full of top-ranked programs. In addition to the Sooners, 10 top-25 ranked teams will be in attendance: Arizona, Baylor, California, Texas, Tennessee, UCLA, UMass, Stanford, and Washington.
The Sooners will face off against Pacific, San Diego State, Washington, Oregon State and Hawai’i February 25-27, 2010.
Lacy Barnes is a student assistant in the University of Oklahoma Athletics Communications Office.