Marry Nutter Softball Classic attracts nationwide collegiate teams


Photo courtesy of Darbie Catalfamo

The Mary Nutter is a Division One Softball tournament that is played in Cathedral City. Before the Classic was called the Mary Nutter, it was a tournament held by Oregon State at the start of the year. The tournament was played from Feb. 23-26, 2023. There was a total of 30 teams that came to play in the Mary Nutter Classic. The classic brought top-ranked teams from all around the country; a total of 67 games that were played in this 4-day classic. These top-ranked teams at the start of the tournament were No. 1 ranked UCLA, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Florida, and No. 10 Washington.

Photo courtesy of Darbie Catalfamo

Many anticipated games were played that weekend with the biggest game held on Sunday, Feb. 26. The game was between No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Oklahoma. Going into the game, Oklahoma had to prove why they should reclaim the No. 1 spot. Prior to this year, Oklahoma won the National Championship.

With UCLA going into the game ranked No 1. Oklahoma was itching for that spot. The game was nothing more than a blowout as Oklahoma came out the gate hot — scoring 6 runs in the 2nd inning and another 8 total runs in the next three innings. Oklahoma’s bats were hot this game with 6 home runs, 4 of them being in the second inning, and the other 2 coming in the fourth and fifth inning.

Catcher Kinzie Hansen hit 2 of those 6 home runs. Oklahoma would snag the win 14-0 being called in the fifth inning due to mercy rule over UCLA proving that they deserve that No. 1 spot.

While most people just see the umpire standing in the back calling balls and strikes or calling base runners safe or out. The umpires that were in this classic came from all of the power five conferences, with there being a total of 35 umpires. Each umpire usually gets 2 games a day with a max of three games for each day. Those power five conferences are the Big 10 Conference, the Big 12 Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Pac-12 Conference, and the Southeastern Conference. Chief of Umpire Jim Sanderson had a lot to say about the tournament over the 24 years he has been working with the Marry Nutter Classic, “They’re gonna have a chance to see some of the best teams in the nation all in one place, at one time,” says Sanderson.

Ranked teams at the Classic

No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Oklahoma, No 3. Florida, No. 10 Washington, No 17. Northwestern, No. 18 Kentucky, No 21 Missouri, No. 24 Oregon.

Who was Mary Nutter?

Mary Nutter was born and raised in Manton, Michigan, where she would be a two-time ASA (Amateur Softball Association) and First Team All-American softball player. Along with the awards Nutter would be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association in 1977. Nutter played Amateur and Professional Softball where she would continue her passion for softball by being a coach at Pittsburgh State University. She would later pass away in 2012.