Jan. 16, 2014
2014 SFA Softball Schedule
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin softball coach Gay McNutt has announced her team's 2014 schedule for the upcoming season. This year's schedule will feature games against five teams that went to the 2013 NCAA Regionals, including one team that reached the Women's College World Series.
"Our goals are always to win the conference or at least make a run for it and get in the conference tournament. Anything can happen at that point. The most important thing is to get back on track and get the team feeling good about themselves and where we're at," McNutt said. "This schedule also allows us to play great teams and stay close to home."
The Ladyjacks will open the season at the Century Link Classic hosted by Texas State on Feb. 7-9. SFA will take on Ball State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Southern Illinois and Texas State over the course of three days, facing Ball State twice.
After opening the season in San Marcos, SFA will travel to Houston for the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational hosted by the Cougars on Feb. 14-16. The Ladyjacks will see three postseason teams in Houston, Nebraska and Army. SFA will open the tournament against conference foe Sam Houston State followed by Army. Last season, Army played in the NCAA Texas Regional and finished the year 35-25.
Army was eliminated from the postseason by Houston in Texas. The Cougars received an at-large bid to the Regionals after losing the final game at the Conference USA Championship.
Nebraska reached the Women's College World Series last season going undefeated in its own Regional and before upsetting No. 3-seed Oregon in the Super Regionals to advance to the WCWS. The Huskers finished the year 45-16, going 0-2 at the WCWS and being eliminated in a dramatic 15-inning 9-8 battle with No. 2 Florida.
"The Houston tournament provides the opportunity to see where we are at really quick and play some great teams that have been to the World Series and been to the NCAA Tournament," McNutt said. "It's a great opportunity for our program to play against some great teams and give our players that experience."
Following the Houston tournament, the Ladyjacks will take on conference foe McNeese State on the road for a mid-week game that will not count toward conference play on Feb. 19. Then, the team will head north to Denton for the Texas Shootout hosted by North Texas on Feb. 20-23. SFA will face Sam Houston State again along with Prairie View A&M, Abilene Christian and host UNT.
Before playing its final nonconference tournament, the Ladyjacks will host their home opener against Texas Southern on Feb. 26 for a mid-week game at SFA Softball Field at 4 p.m.
The final nonconference tournament of the season for SFA will be the 2014 Woo Pig Fastpitch Classic at Arkansas on Feb.28-March 2. The Razorbacks also were a postseason team last year, being eliminated in the Oklahoma Regional by eventual national champ OU. At the Woo Pig Classic, SFA will face Louisiana Tech, Drake and Arkansas. After initial round robin play, the teams will be seeded and play a tournament.
Southland Conference action will start on March 8 when the Ladyjacks host Nicholls State. Conference play will feature double-headers on Saturdays with one game on Sundays
SFA will also host mid-week nonconference games against UT-San Antonio on March 13 and LaTech on April 15. The Ladyjacks will travel to UNT (April 2) and Texas Southern (April 30) for nonconference games.
The first road series in conference play for SFA will be at Central Arkansas on March 15-16. Then, the Ladyjacks return home to take on defending Southland Conference champion Northwestern State on March 22-23. The Lady Demons finished the year 40-15.
Conference play for SFA will feature home series with Abilene Christian on April 5-6 and Lamar on April 26-27. The Ladyjacks will travel to Houston Baptist (March 29-30), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (April 12-13), Southeastern Louisiana (April 18-19) and close the regular season at Sam Houston State (May 3-4).
The Southland Conference Tournament is set for May 7-10 in Hammond, La., and will be hosted by Southeastern Louisiana. The top six teams in conference standings will qualify for the conference tournament with the Southland's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals on the line.
- SFA -