College softball an anchor for Olympic hopefuls in pandemic

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Division I softball is providing a training ground this season for players preparing for the Summer Olympics. UCLA’s Rachel Garcia and Bubba Nickles and Arizona’s Dejah Mulipola are on the squad that will go to Tokyo. Oklahoma’s Nicole Mendes and North Carolina State’s Tatyana Forbes will play for Mexico. Washington’s Gabbie Plain is a finalist for a slot on Australia’s team. With COVID-19 limiting options for national teams, the college players have the advantage of getting regular competition.