Six-Team Field Fires Up NCAA D-I Season Starting Feb. 10
FORT COLLINS, CO – Tournament officials continue to put the finishing touches on preparations for the 2022 PV College Challenge, which runs Feb. 10-13 and welcomes six NCAA D-I softball programs to Puerto Vallarta, MX and kicks off the 2022 season.
This year’s field for the event features Arkansas, Lamar, Long Beach, Memphis, Rutgers and Washington. Games are played at the refurbished Nancy Almaraz Field. Fans can purchase their all-tournament passes here: Triple Crown Sports
Here’s the schedule for the 2022 PV College Challenge:
Thursday, Feb. 10
10 a.m. – Rutgers vs. Arkansas
12:30 p.m. – Rutgers vs. Memphis
4 p.m. – Memphis vs. Lamar
6:30 p.m. – Lamar vs. Washington
Friday, Feb. 11
10 a.m. – Memphis vs. Long Beach
12:30 p.m. – Memphis vs. Arkansas
3 p.m. – Long Beach vs. Washington
6 p.m. – Lamar vs. Rutgers
8:30 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Washington
Saturday, Feb. 12
10 a.m. – Rutgers vs. Lamar
12:30 p.m. – Long Beach vs. Memphis
3 p.m. – Washington vs. Rutgers
6 p.m. – Long Beach vs. Arkansas
8:30 p.m. – Washington vs. Arkansas
Sunday, Feb 13
10 a.m. – Lamar vs. Long Beach
ARKANSAS (43-11) – The Razorbacks won the SEC last year for the first time, topping a daunting field of teams and reaching the NCAA Super Regionals. Three fifth-year seniors (Danielle Gibson, Hannah McEwen and Linnie Malkin) are the top returning hitters – Gibson had 15 home runs and 51 RBI, McEwen had a .476 on-base percentage and Malkin added 18 homers and 45 RBI. Classmate Mary Haff is back at pitcher; she was 26-7 last year with a 1.55 ERA. Head coach Courtney Deifel enters her seventh season; the team was 1-23 in the SEC her first year.
Arkansas Roster: Roster | Arkansas Razorbacks
LAMAR (8-43) – The Cardinals have impressive outfield speed and sharp batting eyes with sophomore Audry Fleming and senior Aleka Xayaseng; they are the top two returning players in terms of batting average and combined to steal 15 bases in 17 attempts. The roster features seven pitchers as Lamar tries to bring some clarity in the circle; senior Shelby Mixon has the most seasoning, getting 20 starts with nine complete games last season. Head coach Amy Hooks is entering her fourth season; she graduated from Texas as the program’s all-time leader in home runs.
Lamar Roster: 2022 Softball Roster - Lamar University Athletics (lamarcardinals.com)
LONG BEACH STATE (30-11) – The Beach had another strong year under head coach Kim Sowder, going 22-2 in the Big West and qualifying for the NCAA tournament for the 25th time in program history. A new primary pitcher needs to emerge; junior Samantha Fowler and sophomore Shannon Haddad combined to throw 112 innings last year, both showing promise. Naomi Hernandez appears ready to take advantage of her fifth-year option; she hit .383 last season and led the Beach in on-base percentage at .483. There are nine freshmen on the roster.
Long Beach Roster: 2022 Softball Roster - Long Beach State University Athletics
MEMPHIS (9-41) – The Tigers are hungry for a rebound year, with seniors Alyssa Dean and Kendall Lee ready to pounce after solid 2021 campaigns. Dean started all 50 games and hit .300 to go with six home runs, 24 runs and 19 RBI; Lee hit .286 in 46 starts and added 26 RBI. Senior outfielder Gracie Morton has started every game of her Tigers career and stole 10 bases in 2021. Things are wide open in terms of pitching; top returner is sophomore Hallie Siems, who started 13 game last season. Head coach Natalie Poole is in her 10th season.
Memphis Roster: 2022 Softball Roster - University of Memphis Athletics (gotigersgo.com)
RUTGERS (8-36) – The Scarlet Knights welcome back their two leading hitters in junior Payton Lincavage (starter at 3B for 42 games) and Gabrielle Callaway (44 starts at 1B). Lincavage hit .283 and led the team in runs (22), while Callaway hit .278 with team-best totals in hits, doubles, home runs and total bases. In the circle, primary pitcher Ashley Hitchcock (24 starts) is back, and the roster is looking for a boost at the position from freshmen Lilly Orozco and Georgia Ingle. Head coach Kristen Butler is entering her fourth season at Rutgers.
Rutgers Roster: 2022 Softball Roster - Rutgers University Athletics (scarletknights.com)
WASHINGTON (45-14) – The Huskies reached the NCAA Super Regionals before bumping into eventual champion Oklahoma. The team should again thrive thanks to graduate pitcher Gabbie Plain, 88-13 in four years at UW with a 1.41 ERA and opponents hitting just .168 overall. Senior Baylee Klinger hit .416 last season with 16 home runs and 53 RBI; classmate Sami Reynolds hit .321 and added 12 home runs. Head coach Heather Tarr (704 victories in 17 seasons at UW) was named the new head coach of the US National team last fall.
Washington Roster: 2022 Softball Roster - University of Washington Athletics (gohuskies.com)