Softball's biggest stars take the field at St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational


The 2020 NCAA softball season is here, and some of the top teams in the country soon will be competing in one of the biggest regular-season tournaments of the year.

The St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational features 16 college softball teams, including 2019 national champion UCLA, as well as USA Softball.

From Wednesday to Sunday (Feb. 12-16), there will be 42 games played at the Eddie C. Moore Complex. All games will be streamed on ESPN’s family of networks, as well as on the ESPN App.

Who is playing?

Legendary pitchers Monica Abbott and Cat Osterman lead Team USA, whose roster also features UCLA stars Rachel Garcia and Bubba Nickles, as well as Arizona’s Dejah Mulipola. USA Softball will play three games, including ones against Oklahoma State and Washington on Sunday.

Though Garcia and Nickles won’t be suiting up for UCLA this season, 10 of ESPN’s top 25 NCAA softball players of 2020 will be competing, including the Washington duo of Gabbie Plain and Sis Bates, who are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.

Speaking of Washington, the top-ranked Huskies headline the 16 teams competing in the tournament. They are among 12 teams that were ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll after the first weekend of the season.

The tournament field also includes No. 3 UCLA, No. 5 Florida State, No. 9 Alabama, No. 14 Minnesota, No. 15 Georgia, No. 16 Oklahoma State, No. 17 Texas Tech, No. 18 South Carolina, No. 19 Missouri, No. 20 James Madison, No. 21 Northwestern, Virginia Tech, South Florida, Kansas and Liberty.

The schedule

There is one game on Wednesday, six games on Thursday, 13 games on Friday, 12 games on Saturday and 10 games on Sunday. All times ET.

Wednesday’s schedule
Team USA 18, Liberty 0 (5)

Thursday’s schedule
Alabama 7, Liberty 1
Oklahoma State 14, Virginia Tech 6 (6)
Texas Tech 5, South Carolina 1
Missouri 8, Kansas 0 (5)
Oklahoma State 5, South Florida 1
Alabama 8, Washington 0 (5)

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