2024 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic, nfca, gamechanger, mlb, Major League Baseball, mlb network

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Highlighted by three live contests for the first time on MLB Network, the NFCA, in partnership with GameChangerGameChanger, revealed its broadcast and streaming schedule for the 2024 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic, Feb. 8-11 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. Softball fans from around the world will be able to watch every pitch for free during this 17-team tournament which kicks off the 2024 Division I softball season. 

“For softball coaches, student-athletes, and fans there is nothing more exciting than hearing the words 'Play Ball!' at the start of the season,” said NFCA Executive Director Carol Bruggeman. “Thanks to our Official Sponsors GameChanger and MLB, we are thrilled to bring every pitch of the NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic Tournament FREE to the softball community. GameChanger is a trusted livestream name in the softball space and is dedicated to providing a first-class experience to our viewers. Additionally, we feel honored to have our Saturday tripleheader be the first live softball games ever broadcast on MLB Network. This opportunity will showcase our exciting sport and expand our reach to a new audience.” 

As the sole streaming provider, NFCA Official Sponsor GameChanger will run video livestreams for all 43 contests (six fields), through the GameChanger app (free), which you can watch on your phone, tablet and desktop. Click on the Tournament Central link below for all team links and directions on how to watch.

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“GameChanger is proud to be at the forefront of advancing softball coverage, especially as we partner with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for the Division I Leadoff Classic,” said GameChanger president, Sameer Ahuja. "Our commitment to the sport runs deep, and we believe in making every game accessible to fans and players alike through dynamic video coverage. Alongside NFCA and MLB, we will continue to champion the visibility of the sport and bring the excitement of softball to an ever-expanding audience."

New to the fold this year is NFCA Official Sponsor Major League Baseball, who will team up with GameChanger and the Association to broadcast three games, Saturday, Feb. 10, on MLB Network. Making history as the first live collegiate softball game to be televised on MLB Network, Women’s College World Series participant Utah takes on Notre Dame at 1:00 p.m. They will be followed by Liberty and Missouri at 4:00 p.m. with Super Regional participants Clemson and Oregon rounding out the action at 7:00 p.m. All game times are Eastern. To watch this tripleheader on MLB Network, viewers can visit www.mlbnetwork.comwww.mlbnetwork.com for their local channel listings. 

“We’re thrilled to broadcast live softball on MLB Network for the first time in our 15-year history,” said MLB Network President Bill Morningstar. “Partnering with the NFCA to showcase the Leadoff Classic on a national stage perfectly aligns with Major League Baseball’s ongoing commitment to grow youth softball and baseball, and it accomplishes our goal to present new content that engages and excites our fans.”   

Please note that viewers who are unable to access the broadcasts on MLB Network, can still watch the games on the GameChanger app for free.

In addition to MLB Network broadcasts, contests on Fields 8 & 9 will feature a multi-camera broadcast with play-by-play and analysis. Those contests are listed below:

Thursday, Feb. 8

7:00 p.m. – Clemson v. Missouri State (Field 8) / Indiana v. Oregon (Field 9)

Friday, Feb. 9

5:00 p.m. – Kansas v. Oregon (Field 8) / St. John’s v. Liberty (Field 9)
8:00 p.m. – Liberty v. Oregon (Field 8) / St. John’s v. Kansas (Field 9)

Saturday, Feb. 10

Noon – Liberty v. Clemson (Field 9) 

Sunday, Feb. 11

10:00 a.m. – Clemson v. Missouri (Field 8) / Oregon v. Army West Point (Field 9)

Games on Fields 1 through 4 will feature a single camera live feed through the GameChanger app.

The 2024 field will feature 17 collegiate programs from 12 different conferences. Every participant competed in their conference tournament a year ago, with nine advancing to the 2023 NCAA Regionals. Clemson, Oregon and Utah all claimed regional titles with the Utes capturing their first-ever Super Regional series and participating in their first WCWS since 1994.

Along with the three aforementioned programs, the other six 2023 regional participants in the field are Central Arkansas, Indiana, Liberty, Missouri, North Carolina Central and Notre Dame. Additionally, 2023 National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC) winner Iowa is headed to Clearwater.

Rounding out the field are Army West Point, Kansas, Missouri State, NC State, South Alabama, St. John’s and Western Kentucky.

2024 participating teams: Army West Point, Central Arkansas, Clemson, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Liberty, Missouri, Missouri State, North Carolina Central, NC State, Notre Dame, Oregon, South Alabama, St. John’s, Utah, Western Kentucky

 

Previous Division I Leadoff Classic champions

2023 – Tennessee; 2020 – Mississippi State; 2014 – Hofstra; 2013 – Louisiana; 2012- DePaul;

2010- Illinois; 2008- Michigan; 2007 – Georgia Tech & Michigan;

2005- Oklahoma; 2004 – LSU; 2003- UMass; 2002 – Nebraska;

2001 – Stanford; 2000 – Washington; 1999 – Louisiana;

1998 – Michigan; 1997 – South Carolina; 1996- Washington

 

The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its competitive Leadoff Classics, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from a highly-regarded Awards Program to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and a National Convention.

Learn more about the NFCA and consider joining our lineup of 7,000 coaches today!

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