College softball hits the Coachella Valley through Sunday

Thirteen of the Top 25-ranked NCAA softball teams in the nation are set for the annual Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City. Thirty-five teams will play the four-day event through Sunday in the event which is the largest and most competitive Division I event outside the NCAA postseason.

The event has been renamed to honor former Pittsburg State coach Mary Nutter, who also started the National Sports Clinics (NSC) more than 25 years ago to provide softball coaches at all levels access to the highest quality instruction.

“Mary loved this event and the only one she loved more was the College World Series,” said Kirk Walker, now a UCLA assistant, who was the former Oregon St. coach for the last 18 years and the tournament founder. “This tournament would have never happened without her.”

Walker, a UCLA graduate who also was part of the Bruins’ softball staff for 11 years during which the Bruins won six NCAA National Championships, expects high-level competition in every game as the event has become one of the most sought-after when filling schedules.

“We’re pleased and excited about the positive response in the softball world,” he said. “We take pride in its high rating and competitiveness. So many of these teams can easily be there at the end.”

No. 2 Oklahoma, which fell in the NCAA Championship to No. 1 Alabama is the highest-ranked team in the tournament which features seven members from the Pac-12. The

One player looking to make an impact in the Pac-12 and another trip to the Super Regionals is La Quinta High School graduate Bryanna Walker, now a junior pitcher at the University of Washington.

The Huskies, ranked No. 12 and the recent winners at the Hawaii Tournament, are a perennial contender.

Walker is making her third appearance at the local tournament, which is where she made her first career start for Washington. As a freshman she finished with a 3-5 record and a 5.07 ERA, but in her sophomore year, she was part of the regular rotation. Walker was 10-6 with 15 starts in 28 appearances. She finished with a 2.36 ERA.

Here’s the ticket info:

Adults: Friday-Sunday ($25); Seniors/students: ($10); 10 and younger:  ($5)

4-Day Pass: $60

PARKING

Big League Dreams: limited, $5 each entry; Cathedral City High School: Pay as you go ($5); VIP come and go ($75 four days located in staff/faculty parking); VIP RV parking: $120 (four days, located in CCH student lot); Information for CCHS: (760) 770-0100 or pwarren@psusd.us

Here’s the remaining weekend schedule. The event kicked off Thursday.

FRIDAY’S GAMES

10 a.m.: Syracuse vs. Florida; Long Island vs. Florida State

10:30 a.m.: Northwestern vs. Georgia Tech; Georgia vs. Cal Poly; Colorado St vs. Utah

12:30 p.m.: Missouri vs. Florida; Oregon State vs. Nevada

1 p.m.: Northwestern vs. Tennessee; Georgia vs. Stanford; UNLV vs. BYU

3 p.m.: Washington vs. Florida State; Louisiana State vs. Ohio State

3:30 p.m.: UCLA vs. Tennessee; UCSB vs. Oklahoma; California vs. Georgia Tech

5:30 p.m.: Washington vs. Illinois; Louisiana State vs. UNLV

6 p.m.: Arizona vs. Ohio State; Nebraska vs. Oklahoma; SDSU vs. Syracuse

8 p.m.: Oregon State vs. Illinois; Oregon vs.Virginia

8:30 p.m.: Arizona vs. Loyola Marymount; Nebraska vs. Maryland; Oklahoma St vs. Stanford

SATURDAY’S GAMES

9:30 a.m.: Oklahoma vs. Florida State; Georgia Tech vs. Florida; Cal Poly vs. Ohio State

10 a.m.: Georgia vs. Washington; Utah vs. Long Island

Noon: UCLA vs. Maryland; Georgia Tech vs. Oregon State; BYU vs. Northwestern

12:30 p.m.: Ohio State vs. San Diego State; Nevada vs. Long Island

2:30 p.m.: UCLA vs. Oklahoma State; Maryland vs. California; BYU vs. UC Santa Barbara

3 p.m.: Cal Poly vs. Oregon; Nevada vs. Utah

5 p.m.: Arizona vs. Louisiana State; Illinois vs. California; Virginia vs. Colorado State

5:30 p.m.: Nebraska vs. Oregon; LMU vs. Northwestern

7:30 p.m.: Stanford vs. Virginia; Oklahoma St vs. LBSU; Syracuse vs. Colorado State

8 p.m.: Tennessee vs. UC Santa Barbara; LMU vs. UNLV

SUNDAY’S GAMES

9 a.m.: UCLA vs. Louisiana State; Long Island vs. Northwestern; Florida State vs. Nebraska; Illinois vs. Georgia Tech; Ohio State vs. Utah

11:30 a.m.: UCLA vs Nevada; Long Island vs. Cal Poly; California vs. Nebraska; UNLV vs. Oregon; Florida St vs. Stanford

2 p.m.: Stanford vs. Syracuse; Utah vs. Cal Poly; Oregon vs. San Diego State; UNLV vs. Long Beach State; UCSB vs Nevada

4:30 p.m.: Long Beach St vs. Syracuse