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Friday, February 26, 2010

Auburn one of 23 softball teams in Columbus for NFCA Leadoff Classic

The Auburn softball team won't have to travel far for the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus this weekend. The Tigers, who are the de facto home team, will play five games in three days. Here's how my story about the tournament starts:

AUBURN, Ala. — With multiple games running simultaneously for three days at the South Commons Softball Complex, this weekend’s NFCA Leadoff Classic is a softball fan’s dream.

“It’s a great atmosphere, this tournament,” Auburn coach Tina Deese said. “Everywhere you look, there’s a great ballgame or competition.”

Twenty-three teams from across the country will descend on Columbus for the tournament, which runs today through Sunday. The field includes several ranked teams, including co-No. 4’s Missouri and Michigan, No. 7 Alabama, No. 8 Georgia Tech, No. 18 Florida State, No. 20 Louisiana Lafayette and No. 25 Massachusetts.

To be invited, teams need to have qualified for a regional as recently as two years ago.

“So everybody’s a quality program,” Deese said.

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