TUCSON, Ariz. – West Texas A&M, Texas Woman’s, Colorado Mesa, Grand Canyon and Southeastern Oklahoma State comprise the list of five squads that registered perfect 2-0 records during opening day action at the NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic on Fri., Feb. 15, in Tucson, Ariz.
Among the major opening day surprises were consecutive losses by UC San Diego, the No. 2 team in the country, to No. 8 Augustana, 11-4, and unranked Southeastern Oklahoma State, 2-1. In the latter contest the Savage Storm actually trailed the Tritons in the bottom of the seventh inning by a 1-0 count before utilizing back-to-back squeeze plays to complete a stirring rally to victory.
The triumph for Southeastern Oklahoma State over UC San Diego marked one of its two top-10 upsets on Friday following a 1-0 victory over No. 8 Augustana in both teams’ tourney opener.
No. 16 Central Oklahoma upset No. 6 Minnesota State Mankato, 1-0, but also dropped a 3-0 decision to unranked Missouri-St. Louis. No. 22 Abilene Christian went 0-2 in its opening pool play action, dropping close decisions against Grand Canyon (2-5) and Nova Southeastern (3-5)
West Texas A&M recorded the day’s best run differential in pool play, outscoring Dixie State (9-3) and Molloy (6-1) by a combined total of 15-4. Texas Woman’s topped Regis (Colo.) in a slugfest, 11-10, and routed New Haven, 11-3 (5 inn.), in posting a +9 run differential. Colorado Mesa also outscored its opposition by nine runs, downing Cal State San Bernardino (9-2) and Chowan (7-5). Grand Canyon (beat Abilene Christian 5-2 and Nova Southeastern 6-2) and Southeastern Oklahoma State (defeated No. 8 Augustana 1-0 and No. 2 UC San Diego 2-1) posted +7 and +2 run differentials, respectively.
The tournament consists of pool play for the opening two days with each team playing two squads from its main pool on Friday before crossing over for two match-ups against members of a sister pool on Saturday. On Championship Sunday the top four teams overall out of the field of 18 will play for the Gold bracket title with Nos. 5-8 playing for the Silver bracket crown, Nos. 9-12 playing for the Bronze bracket title and Nos. 13-16 playing for the Copper bracket championship. The two participants that finish in the No. 17 & 18 positions will play a Sunday doubleheader to grant each team a total of six tournament contests.
Single day tickets are available for $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. Special group rates of $5 will also be available for groups of 10 or more youth or military personnel.