After having a week off, the East Central University softball team will return to the field today through Sunday at the UAM 8-State Classic in Bentonville, Arkansas.

This is the fourth year that the Tigers have participated in tournament against teams from across the NCAA Central Region.

ECU will play six games over the three days, starting with a game at 9 a.m. today against Wayne State. The Tigers will also face Missouri-St. Louis at 3 p.m. later today. Saturday’s games are set for 11 a.m. against William Jewell and 1 p.m. vs. Washburn. Sunday, ECU will battle Fort Hays State at 1 p.m. and Northeastern State at 3 p.m.

The Tigers went 5-1 in the opening games of the season at the Southeastern Regional Invitational in Durant. ECU was led by Catherine Barrera, a freshman from Corpus Christi, Texas, who finished 7-of-14 from the plate with two doubles, a triple and six RBIs.

Karlie Milburn, a freshman from Fort Worth, Texas, went 3-0 in the circle, with a 0.50 ERA, a complete game-shut out, 14 total innings, nine hits, two runs and four Ks.

Wayne State and William Jewell will both be playing their first games of the season this weekend, with Wayne State playing their first game of the year against ECU.

Missouri-St. Louis comes into the tournament with a 6-4 record. Washburn is 2-9, Fort Hays State is 1-4 and Northeastern State is 1-3 on the year.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.