comscore script

Eleven NCAA Tournament teams highlight 2008 softball schedule

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Eleven NCAA Tournament teams highlight 2008 softball schedule

FAYETTEVILLE – Eleven NCAA Tournament teams, two Women’s College World Series teams and 20 home dates highlight the 2008 University of Arkansas softball schedule head coach Jamie Pinkerton announced today. The Lady Razorbacks have at least 32 games at Lady’Back Yard and 26 games against teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament in 2007. Seven of the tournament teams Arkansas faces made the Super Regionals while two of those teams continued on to the World Series. “I’m happy with the way the schedule turned out,” said Pinkerton. “We’re playing very competitive non-conference opponents in the early portion of the schedule in order to set us up for Southeastern Conference play.” The season opens Feb. 8-10 with the Century Bank Classic in Texarkana, Ark., where the Lady’Backs face UAB, Oklahoma State and Centenary. Arkansas travels to Minneapolis, Minn., for the University of Minnesota Metordome Classic Feb. 15-17, to take on NCAA Tournament team Tennessee Tech, Northern Iowa, Drake, Western Illinois, Iowa and host Minnesota. The home schedule features a single game against Northern Colorado to open the year, followed by the Clarion Inn-Arkansas Invitational. Northern Colorado, Alcorn State, St. Louis, and NCAA first-round participant Creighton come to Lady’Back Yard Feb. 22-24. Tempe, Ariz., is the Lady’Backs’ next stop Feb. 29-March 1 for the Wilson-DeMarini Invitational where Arkansas meets 2007 World Series team Arizona State and tough field of competitors. “Arizona State is an atmosphere that will prepare us for the type of environments we’ll see in the SEC,” Pinkerton said. SEC play opens the following weekend at South Carolina. The Gamecocks are one of five SEC teams that made it to the Super Regionals of the 2007 NCAA tournament. The home portion of the schedule heats up mid-March. Arkansas plays a mid-week doubleheader against first-time opponent Indiana State on March 12 before welcoming Florida for its first home SEC series March 14-15. Florida reached the Super Regionals in 2007. Arkansas jets down to Auburn for its only mid-week road match in conference play, then returns to Lady’Back Yard March 21-22 to face the 2007 NCAA runner-up, Tennessee. The Border War with Oklahoma State and Tulsa is March 26 in Fayetteville. The Lady’Backs hit the road for more SEC action at Georgia March 29-30. The Bulldogs were first-round participants in the NCAA Tournament. The beginning of April marks a break from SEC play beginning with Louisiana-Monroe in Sherwood, Ark., April 2. Arkansas returns home facing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi April 4-5, Oklahoma April 7 and Kansas April 10. Oklahoma is a perennial powerhouse in the Big 12 and made the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament last season. The SEC schedule is at its half-way point as the Lady’Backs make a trip to Kentucky followed by home games with Alabama and Mississippi. A three-game road swing begins at LSU April 26-27 and ends at Missouri State April 29. Both Alabama and LSU battled to the Super Regionals last year. Arkansas concludes the SEC regular season hosting Mississippi State May 3-4. The SEC Tournament is held May 8-10 featuring the top eight teams in the conference. For more information and tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Softball