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Softball announces 2009 schedule

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Softball announces 2009 schedule

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ten 2008 NCAA Tournament teams, five non-conference tournaments and 23 home dates highlight the 2009 schedule for the Razorback softball team, as announced by head coach Jamie Pinkerton. Arkansas is slated to host five Southeastern Conference series during the first season of its newly constructed home, Bogle Park.The Razorbacks will spend the first three weeks of the 2009 season on the road as they travel to the states of Mississippi, Minnesota and Florida for a trio of tournaments. The team kicks off the season Feb. 6-8 at the Southern Miss Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss. Arkansas will face Samford, Western Kentucky and host-team Southern Mississippi during the three-day event.The following week, Feb. 13-15, Arkansas will take part in the Metrodome Classic in Minneapolis, Minn., for the second-straight year. Along with UA, the six-team field includes Drake, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin-Green Bay and host Minnesota. Western Illinois was a 2008 NCAA tournament qualifier. The Razorbacks will look to duplicate last season’s success at the tournament when they totaled a 5-1 record.Arkansas continues its season-opening road swing Feb. 20-22 with a trip to Boca Raton, Fla., for the FAU Strikeout Cancer Tournament. Arkansas, Missouri, Villanova and host-team Florida Atlantic will play a round robin before competing in bracket play on the final day and a half of the event.The Razorbacks open their home schedule Feb. 27 with the Holiday Inn-NWA Razorback Invitational. The team will host Bradley, Ball State, Wichita State and South Dakota State during the event, which runs through March 1. It will be Arkansas’ first regular-season play at Bogle Park.Arkansas closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule March 6-8 with the Oklahoma State Mizuno Classic in Stillwater, Okla. In addition to Arkansas and host-team Oklahoma State, the field includes Drake, Cleveland State and Northern Colorado. The Razorbacks will see Oklahoma State again when the teams meet up with Tulsa for the Border War games April 1 in Tulsa.The SEC schedule begins March 11 with a home doubleheader against South Carolina. Arkansas then hits the road for a March 17-18 series at Mississippi State, the first of seven NCAA Tournament teams from the conference. The Razorbacks return to Fayetteville, March 21-22, to take on Kentucky.A doubleheader with Tennessee set for March 25 is next for the Razorbacks as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., the site of the 2009 SEC Softball Championship. The road trip continues March 28-29 with a series at Ole Miss. Arkansas takes a brief break from conference play with the April 1 Border War in Tulsa.The return to league action finds the Razorbacks hosting Auburn, April 4-5, at Bogle Park. The team takes another break from SEC play April 8 when it travels to Norman, Okla., to take on Oklahoma. The two teams met last season in the Norman Regional where the Sooners came away with a 6-5 win in an 11-inning affair.The Razorbacks return home for an April 10-11 series with LSU before taking the trip to Sherwood, Ark., April 15, to play Centenary.The defending division champions, Alabama and Florida, are the next conference opponents for the Razorbacks. Arkansas will hit the road to play the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 18-19, and take on Florida, April 25-26, in Gainesville, Fla., to close out the season’s road play. An April 22 home date with Missouri State is sandwiched between the two conference road series.After a doubleheader with UMKC at home, set for April 29, the Razorbacks close out their regular season with a May 2-3 home series against Georgia.The top eight teams from SEC regular-season play will compete in the 2009 SEC Softball Championship in Knoxville, Tenn. NCAA Regional play begins May 15 at various campus sites across the country. For more details and more news about UA softball, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Softball