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Cathi Aradi

2000 Leadoff Classic Schedule Set

Twenty-four of the nation's top collegiate softball teams are set to participate in the fifth NFCA Leadoff Classic March 3-5 in Columbus, Georgia. Competition will be held in South Commons Stadium and South Commons Complex.

Defending LOC Champion University of Louisiana-Lafayette (formerly University of Southwestern Louisiana) returns, as will the team the Lady Cajuns defeated for the title, DePaul University, which went on to finish third in last year's Women's College World Series.

Other members of the 2000 LOC field who made 1999 WCWS appearances are Washington (WCWS runner-up, No. 2 in the final Top 25), Arizona State and Fresno State. Fourteen of the 24 LOC teams were selected to play in NCAA regionals in '99 and 13 finished in the final Top 25.

This year's LOC format consists of six, four-team pools. Following pool play, the top team from each pool, along with two at-large teams, will advance to the Gold Championship Bracket. The remaining four second-place teams along with four at-large teams will be placed in the Silver Championship Bracket and the remaining eight teams will be assigned to the Bronze Championship Bracket. All brackets will be single elimination consolation. Each team will play a minimum of five games (three pool, two bracket) regardless of pool or bracket assignments.

2000 NFCA Leadoff Classic Pool Assignments

Pool 1 Oklahoma                  Cal State Northridge       Boston College                     Pool 2 Massachusetts             Hofstra                    Hawaii                      Pool 3 Mississippi State         Louisiana-Lafayette        LSU  Pool 4 Stanford                  Nebraska                   Michigan                     Pool 5 Florida State             Alabama                    Florida                    Pool 6 Fresno State              Arizona State              Illinois-Chicago Pool 7 Harvard                   DePaul                     Utah Pool 8 Texas                     Oklahoma State             Washington
Pool Play Schedule 

Friday (March 3)

Noon - Oklahoma vs. Massachusetts, Cal State Northridge vs. Hofstra, Boston College vs. Hawai'i, Florida vs. Fresno State, Alabama vs. Arizona State, Florida vs. Illinois-Chicago.

2:30 p.m. - Oklahoma vs. Mississippi State, Cal State Northridge vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Boston College vs. LSU, Florida State vs. Harvard, Alabama vs. DePaul, Florida vs. Utah.

5 p.m. - Mississippi State vs. Stanford, Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Nebraska, LSU vs. Michigan, Harvard vs. Texas, DePaul vs. Oklahoma State, Utah vs. Washington.

7:30 p.m. - Stanford vs. Massachusetts, Nebraska vs. Hofstra, Michigan vs. Hawai'i, Texas vs. Fresno State, Oklahoma State vs. Arizona State Washington vs. Illinois-Chicago.

Saturday (March 4)

10 a.m. - Stanford vs. Oklahoma, Nebraska vs. Cal State Northridge, Michigan vs. Boston College, Texas vs. Florida State, Oklahoma State vs. Alabama, Washington vs. Florida.

12:30 p.m. - Massachusetts vs. Mississippi State, Hofstra vs. Louisiana Lafayette, Hawai'i vs. LSU, Fresno State vs. Harvard, Arizona State vs. DePaul, Illinois-Chicago vs. Utah.

Bracket Play (March 4-5)

Saturday: 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday: 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.