The field is set for the inaugural St. Pete/Clearwater Elite invitational with the addition of California, Minnesota and Ohio State to complete the 16-team line-up, three teams that made post-season appearances during the 2018 campaign. The teams previously announced as participants include Florida Atlantic University, reigning national champions Florida State, Hofstra, James Madison, Kentucky, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
ESPN Event’s first owned and operated softball invitational will be held at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla., February 14-17, 2019. Each team is guaranteed four games but could play in as many as six, with the majority of the teams playing in five games. A total of 39 games will be played over the course of the four days. The full schedule, complete with dates, times and matchups, is available below. Network and home/away designations will be available at a later date.
Of the 16 participating teams, 13 finished in the Top 25 of the NCAA Women’s Softball RPI last season: No.1 Florida State, No. 2 Oregon, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 10 Tennessee, No. 11 LSU, No. 13 Kentucky, No. 18 Hofstra, No. 23 Minnesota, No. 24 James Madison, and No. 25 Ohio State. The teams will represent seven conferences: ACC, CAA, Conference USA, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and the SEC.
Fans will be able to follow the action with new episodes of the 7Innings Podcast available leading up to and during the tournament itself. Spearheaded during the 2018 softball season by ESPN’s leading softball voices, the podcast aims to further shine a spotlight on the sport by covering the teams and players that make it so dynamic and fun to watch. Regularly heard on the podcast are Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, Jessica Mendoza, Amanda Scarborough, Holly Rowe, Laura Rutledge and Adam Amin.
For more information on the invitational visit www.stpeteclearwatereliteinvite.com.
2019 St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational Schedule
*Network designations will be announced at a later date
|Thu, Feb. 14||10 a.m.||Oklahoma State vs. LSU|
|1 p.m.||Texas vs. Cal|
|4 p.m.||Kentucky vs. Oklahoma|
|7 p.m.||Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame|
|Fri, Feb. 15||9:30 a.m.||FSU vs. Ohio State|
|Hofstra vs. Kentucky|
|10 a.m.||Notre Dame vs. Tennessee|
|Oklahoma vs. FAU|
|12:30 p.m.||Oregon vs. LSU|
|Texas vs. FAU|
|Cal vs. James Madison|
|1 p.m.||FSU vs. Oklahoma|
|3 p.m.||Minnesota vs. Tennessee|
|Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State|
|Kentucky vs. Utah|
|4 p.m.||LSU vs. Texas|
|5:30 p.m.||James Madison vs. Oregon|
|Oklahoma State vs. Utah|
|Sat, Feb. 16||10 a.m.||Oklahoma vs. Hofstra|
|Kentucky vs. Texas|
|Oregon vs. FAU|
|LSU vs. Ohio State|
|1 p.m.||FSU vs. LSU|
|Cal vs. Oklahoma State|
|FAU vs. James Madison|
|Ohio State vs. Utah|
|4 p.m.||Oregon vs. Kentucky|
|Tennessee vs. James Madison|
|Minnesota vs. Notre Dame|
|Oklahoma State vs. Hofstra|
|7 p.m.||Notre Dame vs. Cal|
|Tennessee vs. Utah|
|7:30 p.m.||FSU vs. Minnesota|
|Sun, Feb. 17||10 a.m.||Ohio State vs. Notre Dame|
|Cal vs. Minnesota|
|1 p.m.||JMU vs. Kentucky|
|Hofstra vs. Utah|
|4 p.m.||FSU vs. FAU|
|7 p.m.||FSU vs. Tennessee|
About St. Pete/Clearwater Sports & Events:
St. Pete/Clearwater Sports & Events is the sports tourism programming arm of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, the Convention & Visitors Bureau for Pinellas County. From the Gulf to Tampa Bay, St. Pete/ Clearwater has hosted world-class events with 35 miles of white-sand beaches as a backdrop. Our first-rate venues offer unique experiences to all competitors, from weekend tournaments to major international events, in the most popular destination on the Gulf of Mexico. The qualified Sports & Events team collectively brings more than 60 years of major sports management and marketing experience, including Olympic games, FIFA World Cup and State Games.
About St. Pete/Clearwater:
Situated on a sun-drenched peninsula separating the Gulf of Mexico from Tampa Bay, St. Pete/Clearwater is the most popular destination on the Gulf of Mexico with 35 miles of white-sand beaches, and 361 average number of sunny days per year. Affirming the area’s growing reputation as a top international destination, The New York Times listed St. Pete in its ranking of Top 52 Best Places to Visit, in the company of the world’s most “vibrant cities and spectacular coastlines, unexpected sports and new attractions.” A big reason why is St. Pete’s cultural scene that’s made up of The Dali Museum, Chihuly Collection, as well as two new museums – The James Museum of Western + Wildlife Art and the Imagine Museum – complemented by more than 80 vibrant and colorful urban murals. Reaffirming St. Pete/Clearwater’s reputation of America’s Best Beaches, the famous powdery sands of Clearwater Beach have been crowned as No. 1 Best Beach in the U.S. for the second time in three years, as well as named the No. 7 in the World as voted by TripAdvisor. St. Pete Beach came in at No. 7 putting two are beaches in the Top 10.