March 5, 2008
Northwestern's Long Beach Invitational Game Notes (PDF Format)
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 8 Northwestern travels to California for its last tournament before winter quarter finals this weekend, competing against a strong field at the Long Beach Invitational.
The Wildcats open the event at 11 a.m. CT Friday, March 7, against Rutgers before driving over to face Cal State Fullerton at 6 p.m. Friday night at the Titans' home field. On Saturday, Northwestern plays a morning doubleheader against No. 24 Virginia Tech at 11 a.m. CT followed by Long Beach State at 1:15 p.m. CT. The tournament concludes for the 'Cats at 1:15 p.m. CT Sunday with a rematch against No. 6 UCLA.
Three ranked teams highlight the seven-team field at the Long Beach Invitational, with No. 8 Northwestern playing both No. 6 UCLA and No. 24 Virginia Tech. Those contests represent NU's sixth and seventh games against ranked foes in its first 18 games of the season. With both Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State receiving votes in the most recent NFCA poll, the Wildcats will have faced 12 teams ranked or receiving votes in those rankings in their first 18 games of 2008.
Northwestern is coming off a 3-1 performance at the Coach B Classic hosted by Southern Illinois where the Wildcats posted shutouts in all three of their victories. After NU's dazzling offensive output during the season's opening weekend at the Kajikawa Classic (9.5 runs per game with victories over then-No. 1 Arizona and then-No. 3 Texas A&M), the 'Cats now have shown they have great tools in both the batter's box and the pitcher's circle.
Following the Long Beach Invitational, Northwestern will take a week off from competition to take winter quarter finals, then will return to action at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii. That tourney is the final preconference event of the year before NU hosts Wisconsin March 28 to begin Big Ten play.
For more information on the Long Beach Invitational, link to Longbeachstate.com.
For Northwestern's complete game notes package for the Long Beach Invitational, click on the .pdf link at the top of this page.