Nineteen teams, including six 2003 NCAA regional participants, will play
in the 2004 NFCA/Schutt Sports Division II Leadoff Classic. The
tournament is set for March 5-7 at Southwest Park in Irving, Texas.
The field also includes 2002 national champion St. Mary’s (Texas) and
Wayne State (Michigan), both of which ended their season at the 2003
national tournament. Angelo State, Southeastern Oklahoma, Western New
Mexico and defending Leadoff Classic champion Texas A&M Kingsville join
the Rattlers and Warriors as 2003 postseason teams.
Texas A&M-Kingsville, led by the tournament’s 2003 Most Outstanding
Player Robyn Jensen, defeated St. Mary’s 3-2 in last year’s Leadoff
Classic final. Wayne State won a 10-inning thriller over Washburn to
capture the Silver Bracket while Abilene Christian took the Bronze
bracket with a 3-2 win over Cameron. All six bracket finalists return to
the 2004 tournament. Also returning will be Central Oklahoma, St.
Edward’s, Oklahoma Panhandle State, Eastern New Mexico, Emporia State
and Incarnate Word, as well as tournament co-host Texas Woman’s
Newcomers to the 2004 field are Central Missouri State, New Mexico
Highlands and first-year program Midwestern State. The tournament
format features five pools. Four pools will have four teams while
one pool will feature three teams. The teams in the three-team pool
will play a wildcard game against another opponent, which will count
toward their pool record. As in past Leadoff Classics, the top team
in each pool, along with three at-large teams will advance to the
Gold Championship. The remaining second place teams, in addition to
six at-large teams will match up in the Silver Championship. A
different format will be used for the Bronze Championship. The
remaining three teams will play a round-robin.
Games begin Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. Bracket play will be Saturday at
4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and Sunday at 8 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 12:30
p.m. and 2:45 p.m. For a complete schedule and up-to-date results, click