ESPN Announces Final Three Teams & Schedule For Invitational
ESPN Events Adds California, Minnesota and Ohio State to St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational Line-up
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.
2019 St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational Schedule
Thursday, Feb. 14
10:00 AM – Oklahoma State vs. LSU
1:00 PM – Texas vs. Cal
4:00 PM – Kentucky vs. Oklahoma
7:00 PM – Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame
Friday, Feb. 15
9:30 AM – FSU vs. Ohio State
9:30 AM – Hofstra vs. Kentucky
10:00 AM – Notre Dame vs. Tennessee
10:00 AM – Oklahoma vs. FAU
12:30 PM – Oregon vs. LSU
12:30 PM – Texas vs. FAU
12:30 PM – Cal vs. James Madison
1:00 PM – FSU vs. Oklahoma
3:00 PM – Minnesota vs. Tennessee
3:00 PM – Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State
3:00 PM – Kentucky vs. Utah
4:00 PM – LSU vs. Texas
5:30 PM – James Madison vs. Oregon
5:30 PM – Oklahoma State vs. Utah
Saturday, Feb. 16
10:00 AM – Oklahoma vs. Hofstra
10:00 AM – Kentucky vs. Texas
10:00 AM – Oregon vs. FAU
10:00 AM – LSU vs. Ohio State
1:00 PM – FSU vs. LSU
1:00 PM – Cal vs. Oklahoma State
1:00 PM – FAU vs. James Madison
1:00 PM – Ohio State vs. Utah
4:00 PM – Oregon vs. Kentucky
4:00 PM – Tennessee vs. James Madison
4:00 PM – Minnesota vs. Notre Dame
4:00 PM – Oklahoma State vs. Hofstra
7:00 PM – Notre Dame vs. Cal
7:00 PM – Tennessee vs. Utah
7:30 PM – FSU vs. Minnesota
Sunday, Feb. 17
10:00 AM – Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
10:00 AM – Cal vs. Minnesota
1:00 PM – JMU vs. Kentucky
1:00 PM – Hofstra vs. Utah
4:00 PM – FSU vs. FAU
7:00 PM – FSU vs. Tennessee
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.
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.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta)
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)
St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)