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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Softball team prepares for tough trip

After a week of bitterly cold weather in College Station, the Aggie softball team will get a respite from the unforgiving cold and head to Palo Alto, Calif. for the Stanford Classic this weekend. The sunny California skies will be a welcome change since the Aggies’ game on Wednesday against the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines was cancelled due to bad weather. However, the break gave the Aggies an extra day of practice before they head out to California.
This weekend’s tournament should provide a challenge for the Aggies, as they will have to face some of the best competition they have played all year in No. 11 Stanford, No. 12 Georgia and Long Beach State University. Texas A&M will open the tournament by squaring off against the Long Beach State 49ers and the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday before going toe-to-toe with the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday.
A&M senior catcher Selena Collins said a good showing at the tournament could give the Aggies a morale boost.
“Stanford is a great team,” she said. “Playing in this tournament will give us a chance to maintain our confidence. We’ve been getting under the ball a lot, but after hitting like we did in the Aggie Invitational this past weekend, it will be nice to take that extra bit of confidence to California.”
In playing against the 49ers of Long Beach State (6-5), the Aggies will compete against a team that they haven’t seen since the 1996 season.
The 49ers have had a week off and should be well rested when it steps on the field on Friday. They are also looking to rid themselves of the taste of a bitter late-inning defeat against the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners, ending a bid for an upset.
Meanwhile, the No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs will come into the tournament boasting an 18-1 overall record. However, only one of Georgia’s games has been against a ranked opponent. The Bulldogs are led by junior center fielder Nicole Barber, who is one of 40 candidates for National Player of the Year honors.
Georgia Head Coach Lu Harris is in her third year in Athens, and while the Bulldogs beat the Aggies 3-1 in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl Tournament, she has never faced A&M Head Coach Jo Evans’ squad and is looking forward to playing A&M.
“I personally have yet to coach against A&M, but I am excited about the prospects of playing them,” Harris said. “It will definitely be a good game.”
Stanford, which will serve as host for the event, will also be looking to continue its winning ways after going 2-1 in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. Stanford is 6-1 at home this season.
“This will be a great tournament,” Evans said. “The goal for us is to play with intensity and bring the success and confidence we have had of late to Palo Alto. It will definitely be a good test for us.”
The tournament begins a long road trip for the Aggies, who will not return to play at home until March 22, when they host No. 3 Nebraska.

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