Feb. 9, 2006
Park Ridge, Ill. - Seven Big Ten softball squads will open the 2006 season this weekend. Illinois will compete in the Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas and Iowa begins its season at the Diamond Fun & Sun Classic in Miami, Fla. Minnesota opens its non-conference slate in the Auburn Tournament in Auburn, Ga., while Northwestern and Wisconsin will both compete at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Ohio State plays in the New Mexico State Tournament, while Purdue faces tough competition at the Florida Atlantic Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla.
Three Big Ten softball teams were represented in the preseason polls. Michigan, the reigning national champion, earned the No. 1 ranking in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 and the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Preseason Polls. Northwestern claimed the No. 15 spot in the USA Softball poll and the No. 16 ranking in the NFCA poll, while Iowa rounded out the Big Ten contingent at No. 19/24 (USA Softball/NFCA).