Softball Releases 2008 Schedule
Oct. 5, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball team released its 2008 schedule and it has the Hoosiers traveling to three different states, including California, Tennessee and Florida, before returning to Bloomington for the home opener on March 20 against Drake. The Big Ten season will get underway on March 28 when the Hoosiers host the University of Michigan.
"This 2008 schedule was developed to prepare us for the always competitive Big Ten season and post-season," Indiana softball head coach Stacey Phillips said. "It will give us an opportunity to face some top 25 teams as well as face some up and comers throughout the country. We are looking forward to competing at all levels and seeing if we can come home with a couple championships."
The Hoosiers open the season on Feb. 15 at the San Diego State Campbell Cartier Tournament in San Diego, Calif. against Fresno State, who finished last year ranked No. 24 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll and have qualified for the NCAA Tournament an NCAA record 26 consecutive seasons. Indiana will also take on San Diego State, UC-Santa Barbara, Utah State and Tulsa while in San Diego for the three-day tournament.
""San Diego State traditionally hosts high level tournaments," Phillips said. "And what better way to see where we are then to start off with veteran post-season programs on our schedule. We can't wait to get started."
After a week off, Chattanooga, Tenn. will be the site of the next tournament for the Hoosiers from Feb. 29-March 2. There, IU will battle Connecticut, Eastern Illinois, Chattanooga, Buffalo and Kentucky.
On March 6, the Hoosiers will head to the Sunshine State to begin a stretch of at least 14 games over an 11-day span. It will begin at the USF-Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. that runs from March 6-9. Opponents include Sam Houston, Fairfield, Kennesaw, Quinnipiac and Syracuse before bracket play continues on the final day.
A quick two-day tournament in Tampa, Fla. at the University of South Florida on March 11 and 12 will be followed by a return to Clearwater for the Speedline Invitational. The Hoosiers have games scheduled against Florida International, Rutgers, Radford and UMass on March 14 and 15, with more bracket play slated for the final day of the trip, March 16. UMass finished 2007 just outside the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll and won their 19th Atlantic 10 regular season title by going 18-0 in conference play.
"Our spring trip to Florida will give us a chance to play a large number of games in a short period of time," Phillips said, " in an effort to build stamina and challenge us to maintain the momentum from our practices."
The Hoosiers will have a couple days to rest before the home opener on March 20 against Drake followed by the IU Classic on March 21 and 22. Competing in the round robin tournament along with the Hoosiers will be the University of Illinois-Chicago and Louisville. The final game before the Hoosiers get into Big Ten play will bring the University of Evansville to Bloomington on March 26.
"Our IU Classic will give us the opportunity to show our Indiana fans what they will have in store for them for the 2008 season, our final year at the current IU Softball Field," Phillips said.
Indiana begins Big Ten play by hosting Michigan on March 28 and 29 and Penn State for a doubleheader on March 30. The Wolverines were ranked No. 13 in the final USA Today/NFCA Top 25 a year ago.
For the next seven games, the Hoosiers will be on the road starting with a doubleheader at Kentucky on April 1. That weekend will have the Hoosiers at Minnesota Friday and Saturday, April 4 and 5, and then playing a doubleheader at Wisconsin on April 6. The string of road games comes to an end on April 9 with a trip to Terre Haute, Ind. to take on Indiana State.
The Hoosiers will welcome defending Big Ten Tournament champions Ohio State to IU Softball Field for single games on April 11 and 12 before Ball State comes to town on April 15.
It is back to the road for more Big Ten action the following weekend, traveling to Northwestern for games April 18 and 19 and a doubleheader at Michigan State on April 20. Northwestern advanced all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament last season before falling to Tennessee and Monica Abbott, 3-0.
Following the trip to Michigan State, the Hoosiers will not have to leave the Hoosier state for the remainder of the regular season. The final non-conference game of the season brings the Louisville Cardinals to Bloomington on April 23. The Illinois Fighting Illini will battle the Hoosiers on April 25 and 26 at the IU Softball Field before the Iowa Hawkeyes come to town for a doubleheader on April 27.
The month of May begins with in-state rival Purdue paying the Hoosiers a visit on the third before the Hoosiers make the return trip to West Lafayette, Ind. on the fourth to conclude the regular season.
The Big Ten Tournament, hosted by the regular season champion, will be played May 8-10.
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