Some of the best softball players from around the country are showcasing their talent in our Coachella Valley at the 2022 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Softball Tournament.
The tournament was scratched last year due to the pandemic, so tournament director and UCLA softball assistant coach, Kirk Walker was excited to bring the Mary Nutter back to the valley.
“For us, as collegiate programs, it is our chance to be able to compete in front of our fans again. It’s a great opportunity to bring division 1 level sports to a community that really will get behind it and support it. College coaches like to come here because it’s a great opportunity to play in front of potential recruits and be seen, so it’s a win-win-win. And with this kind of weather, we can’t lose.”
It’s well known that southern California is a softball powerhouse, including the Coachella Valley.
Have a day Jaz!
— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) February 25, 2022
Palm Desert high school alumna Jasmine Perezchica, is back home playing in the Mary Nutter with #9 ranked University of Arizona.
NBC Palm Springs’ very own evening anchor, Olivia Sandusky played in the Mary Nutter during her college years playing for the University of San Diego. She remembers how exciting it was to play against the top softball programs at the Mary Nutter.
“I loved playing in the Mary Nutter Classic because it was a tournament that drew so many good programs to it. When you’re playing some of the top talent across the country, it’s a little nerve-wracking and you’re getting out there, you’re all excited. It was an amazing opportunity is to play some of these great teams.”
The Mary Nutter also brings out plenty of local fans who want to learn from the best. The Desert Velocity is a 12U girls’ softball travel team from La Quinta, and they were excited to scope out some of the talent.
“When I grow up, I want to go to Pennsylvania,” says 12-year-old Jezell Espericueta. “You get to see what’s happening and you could just remember it and when you go to your practice, you can just copy the same thing.”
“I hope to learn how to hit better and how to be a better outfield,” says Desert Velocity teammate Makaela Shewmake. “Personally, in my opinion, think that UCLA is pretty good and I want to go to college there and hopefully get a scholarship.”
OKLAHOMA SOONERS’ JOCELYN ALO TO MAKE HISTORY
A big storyline this weekend, keep your eyes on Oklahoma. Not just because they are the top-ranked program in the country, but because sooner Jocelyn Alo is looking to make history here in Cathedral City.
She has 95 career home runs, tied for the most ever in NCAA softball history. She recently tied former Sooner Lauren Chamberlain.
— Brandy Flores (@_brandyflores) February 26, 2022
In their first game on Friday, the Sooners shut out Cal State Fullerton, a perfect game pitched by Jordyn Bahl to win it 10-0. Alo went 0-1 with a pop-up and walked three times.
The similar story against their next opponent of the day, Long Beach State. Another dominant victory by the #1 ranked Sooners, winning 11-3. Alo got ahold of one, but it hit the fence and so she earned a double on her first at-bat. She would go on to get a single, then walk twice.
The Sooners stay perfect at 12-0 so far this season, and Jocelyn Alo will try again for history on Saturday and Sunday.