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Reigning Champs Lead Field for 2011 NFCA Junior College Leadoff Classic

Chelsea KurnatChelsea KurnatSTARKVILLE, Miss. – The 2010 NJCAA Divisions I and II champions, Miami Dade College and Muskegon Community College, will lead the 24-team field for the 2011 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Junior College Leadoff Classic at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach, Fla., March 4-6. 

This year’s field includes 16 NJCAA Division I teams and eight NJCAA Division II teams, 14 of which participated in their respective division’s national tournament during the 2010 season. Each participant was selected on the basis of it cumulative achievements over the past three seasons and each has made at least one trip to its respective national tournament during that time frame. 

In addition to last year’s champions, this year’s field will also feature Chiploa College and Wallace State Community College-Hanceville, the respective 2007 and 2008 NJCAA Division I National Champions. Wallace State looks to be the team to beat in this year’s field, as they not only won the 2008 national title but also finished second in each of the past two national tournaments. Along with Division II Johnson County Community College, Wallace State is just one of two teams in this year’s field to have made the national tournament field in each of the last three seasons. 

Also in the field, will be 2010 Division I regional winners Georgia Perimeter College, Odessa College, Indian Hills Community College, Chattanooga State Community College, Temple College, and Blinn College. Joining the six Division I national tournament participants will be three additional regional winners from the Division II tournament: Parkland College, Iowa Lakes Community College, and Mercyhurst North East 

In total, 12 states will be represented in this year’s tournament with host state Florida sending the largest delegation at six and the Lone Star State of Texas following with four. Rounding out the field this year are Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville, Chesapeake College, San Jacinto College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Santa Fe College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Wabash Valley College, Tallahassee Community College, Gulf Coast Community College and Iowa Western College, 

This year’s classic will be divided into distinct portions; pool play and bracket play, with each team guaranteed a minimum of five games. Each team will begin the tournament by playing each of the other three schools in their pool. Once pool play is completed, the teams will be divided into three brackets of eight teams each. The six pool winners and top two second-place teams will form the Gold Championship Bracket, with remaining four second place teams and four at-large teams comprising the Silver Championship Bracket. The final eight teams will be assigned to the Bronze Championship Bracket. 

Single day tickets will be $8 for adults, $6 for students and $5 for youth groups of 10 or more. Full tournament passes will also be available for $20 for adults and $15 for students. All tickets can be purchased at the gate on game days. 

For more information on Panama City Beach and accommodations in the area, please visit the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.