UCLA & Arizona Look To Return To WCWS In 2015

UCLA and Arizona look to return to WCWS in 2015

“UCLA and Arizona look to return to WCWS in 2015” Written By Bill Plummer

Will this be the year for UCLA and Arizona? Could be and you can imagine both schools will give their all in trying to get back to the Women's College World Series. Neither school has been back to the prestigious event since 2010.

Years ago these two teams dominated the Women's College World Series. Beginning with the first NCAA sponsored WCWS in 1982, UCLA won seven national titles between 1982-1992 while Arizona won eight titles. The Bruins overall have won 11 national titles with the last in 2010 while the Wildcats captured their last title in 2007. The Wildcats did, however, lose to the Bruins in the highest scoring finale, 15-9, in 2010. Since then the two schools to their frustration have been denied a trip back to a place that they were extremely familiar with.

But while the Wildcats and Bruins were trying to get back to Oklahoma City, numerous colleges and universities were getting better, with the SEC having won the last two World Series after the event had been dominated by the Pac-12 with 23 national titles. Last year was the first time that a Pac-12 team wasn't entered in the event.

For elite softball programs like Arizona and UCLA, it's not about rebuilding, it's about reloading. These teams have the talent but also are deep and versatile. They have players who can played a variety of positions. They have athletes who can come off the bench or out of the bullpen and get the job done. And they have athletes who range from freshmen to seniors who are capable of stepping up and leaving their mark. Those qualities ensure that the best teams are at the top of the national spotlight each year.

Besides playing each other in the Pac-12, UCLA and Arizona traditionally schedule some of the best competition in the United States. Arizona will play five of the eight 2014 Women's College World Series participants including defending champ Florida. In all, UA will play 24 games against NCAA tournament participants from a season ago. The Wildcats' schedule features 19 nationally televised contests. Seventeen of UA's 24 conference games will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks while the Cats also have two games on the ESPN family of networks.

UCLA, which was recently ranked No. 3 in the country, will be featured on TV 20 times this season, including 19 of 24 Pac-12 contests and 20 of the last 27 games of the regular season.

Following the first five tournaments of the year (SoCal Collegiate Classic, Feb. 5-8, Easton Stadium; Wilson/DeMarini Desert Classic, Feb. 13-15, Las Vegas/Henderson, Nev.; Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Feb. 19-22, Cathedral City, Calif.; Louisville Slugger Invitational, Feb. 27-March 1, Lakewood/Long Beach, Calif.; and Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, March 6-8, Easton Stadium), the Bruins will host Baylor in a non-conference matchup, which will be televised on Pac-12 Networks, on Tuesday, March 10 at 5 p.m.

Only time will tell if UCLA and Arizona get back to a place that they are very familiar with. And you can bet not making that trip for the past four years has gotten to be frustrating and maybe 2015 will be the year that the Bruins and Wildcats get back to where they belong.

Bill Plummer Bill Plummer A graduate of Indiana University, Ind. Bill has been involved in softball for more than four decades. For 30years he was a fixture at the ASA National Office as a communications coordinator, manager of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and historian. In addition, he also served as the editor of the ASA official newsletter, The Inside Pitch, and as the Trade Show Manager. He has written widely about the sport and has contributed to 14 books. In 2009, he authored “The Game America Plays.” In 2012, he co-authored “Best of the Best-Women’s Fastpitch.” In 2014, ” A Series of Their Own. The History of the Women's College World Series.” He has been elected to five halls of fame, including the ASA National. In 1996, he served as the Information Manager for the debut of softball in the Olympics.

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