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Cathi Aradi

Fourteen Teams Have Descended on Clearwater, Fla., for 2013 NFCA DI Leadoff Classic

CLEARWATER, Fla. – With 14 Division I teams having descended upon Clearwater, Fla., the 2013 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic is set to kick-off this weekend over February 22-24 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.

The Leadoff Classic has established itself as one of college softball’s premier tournaments, eventually sending seven of its 16 previous champions to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the Women’s College World Series.

This year’s field once again features some of the top collegiate teams in the nation, including four squads (Michigan, USF, Louisiana-Lafayette, Hofstra) that have been ranked in the 2013 USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll and two others that have received votes. Eight teams in this year’s field advanced to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, making the 17th-annual Leadoff Classic another battle of some of the nation’s best collegiate teams.

Also included in the NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic field are:  DePaul, Fordham, Illinois State, Indiana, James Madison, Massachusetts, Pacific, Southern Illinois, UC Davis and UCF.

The tournament will feature a round-robin style format with the championship going to the team with the best winning percentage on the weekend.  In case of ties, a series of pre-determined tiebreakers will be used to decide winners.  Individual performances will also be honored at the tournament with a Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Pitcher award, as well as an All-Tournament team.

Single day tickets will be available for $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. Full tournament passes will also be available for $25 for adults and $15 for children. Special group rates of $5 will also be available for groups of 10 or more youth or military personnel.  For a complete game schedule and more tournament information, click here.

For more information on Clearwater and accommodations in the area, please visit the St. Petersburg and Clearwater Convention & Visitor’s Bureau at www.visitstpeteclearwater.com