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Clearwater Invitational Schedule: Five Games to Watch

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ESPN Events on Thursday released the schedule for the 2023 Clearwater Invitational, which is scheduled for Feb. 16-19 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla.

The 16-team field features 15 teams that qualified for the 2022 NCAA Softball Championships, including three programs (Arizona, Oklahoma State and UCLA) that reached the Women’s College World Series. The other programs participating are: Alabama, Arkansas, Duke, Florida State, Indiana, UCF, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi State, Nebraska, South Florida, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech.

Here are five games the D1Softball staff are interested to see:

1. UCLA vs. Alabama (Feb. 17, 4 p.m. ET)

If both teams pitch their aces, the showdown between UCLA’s Megan Faraimo and Alabama’s Montana Fouts is hard to resist.

2. Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State (Feb. 17, 10 a.m. ET)

Another high-quality pitching matchup could pit Va Tech’s Emma Lemley vs. Cowgirls ace Kelly Maxwell.

3. Duke vs. Arkansas (Feb. 17, 6 p.m. ET)

Both have great offenses and talent in the circle. A fun storyline is Arkansas graduate transfer Kristina Foreman facing her former Blue Devil teammates.

4. UCLA vs. Florida State (Feb. 18, 10 a.m. ET)

The rematch of last year’s Clearwater Invitational primetime thriller will be a morning showdown this year. FSU won last year’s game 4-3 in extra innings in a game watched by 620,000 viewers on ESPN. It was the most-watched game from the event since the tournament’s inception.

5. Mississippi State vs. Arizona/UCF vs. Michigan (Both, Feb. 17, 3 p.m. ET)

A few more rematches, only this time from the posteason. Arizona eliminated Missisippi State in the Super Regional during its magical run to the WCWS. UCF beat Michigan in a regional in Florida that was plagued by massive weather delays. Let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself and the sun shines all weekend.

For the full schedule, click here.

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