Fullerton, Calif. - On the heels of a remarkable 2013 campaign in which Cal State Fullerton improved its Ratings Power Index (RPI) a national-best, whopping 141 spots, the Titans will again host the nation's elite programs in 2014.
Single game event dates include visits from (2013 final rankings) No. 2 Tennessee, No. 21 UCLA, Grand Canyon University, Loyola University (Chicago), North Carolina, San Diego and Santa Clara, along with the full complement of Big West games. This year the Titans travel to No. 24 Hawai'i for their bi-annual conference trip to paradise.
Again, the Titans host one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country, the Judi Garman Classic, which for 2014 will feature 12 top programs, including No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Washington, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Arizona State and No. 8 Nebraska and includes Arizona, Fresno State, Houston, Long Beach State, San Jose State and Wisconsin.
Because of an odd scheduling/calendar year situation, the tournament will be held a few weeks earlier than usual, from March 6 through March 9. Consequently, the team will host a number of smaller tournaments, starting with the Easton Tournament from Feb. 7-9 which features No. 1 Oklahoma (the defending national champion team), No. 14 Kentucky, George Washington, Loyola Marymount, Pitt and Santa Clara.
Cal State Fullerton heads south to compete in one of the San Diego State tournaments, from Feb. 13-Fe. 15 and will face No. 23 Cal, the host Aztecs, St. Mary's, South Dakota and Texas State.
After traveling to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs where the team will face No. 18 LSU, No. 20 Baylor, Boise State and Notre Dame, the Titans will again compete as part of the Long Beach tournament, but will host seven games of that Feb. 27-March 1 event at Anderson Family Field. Included will be No. 19 Louisville and Illinois, Nevada, Northwestern and Oregon State.
A small fourth tournament event will be held on March 14-15 (the traditional weekend of the Judi Garman Classic) and will feature Canisius, DePaul, Texas Tech and UNLV.
"We want Orange County fans to have the chance to see the best collegiate softball in the country and we have been aggressive in our scheduling," Kelly Ford said. "There is no question that we've scheduled a tough path for us, but for the fans of this great sport? Well, they can thank us by buying season tickets," the energetic head coach quipped.
The 2013 team, under then first-year head coach Ford, finished third in the Big West Conference and notched a 28-28 season and posted four wins over top-25 ranked teams: No. 7 Missouri, No. 10 UCLA, No. 15 Hawai'i, and No. 21 Virginia Tech. Individually, five players earned All Big West honors and Desiree Ybarra was named to the NFCA All-West Region Second Team.