IU Softball Announces 2010 Schedule
Oct. 20, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana University softball head coach Michelle Gardner announced the 2010 schedule on Tuesday. The schedule includes trips to ten different states and 20 games against teams that were in the NCAA Tournament last year as well as the return of the IU Classic in late March.
"This year we will be going to a couple different tournaments than what we have in the past, and we will be playing some new teams as well," said Gardner. "Our preseason tournaments are tough and will definitely have us ready for Big Ten play later in the year. And after a year off, we are very excited to have the IU Classic back on the schedule with a couple good teams in Central Michigan and SIU - Edwardsville coming to Bloomington to open the home portion of our schedule."
The Hoosiers will begin the year on Feb. 13 in Kennesaw, Ga., at the K-Club Classic against Jacksonville State, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season with 38 wins. They will follow that up with games against South Dakota State, Wright State and the host, Kennesaw State.
The following weekend the Hoosiers will head west for the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., on the campus of UNLV, from Feb. 19-21. There, Indiana will take on the likes of Boise State, Illinois-Chicago (UIC), Utah, Hawai'i and UNLV, who also made it to the NCAA Tournament a season ago. It will not be the first time that Gardner has seen Hawai'i as they were conference rivals while she was the head coach at the University of Nevada.
A trip south is next on the schedule for the Hoosiers, as they hit the road for the Southern Miss Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss., to close out the month of February. The teams the Hoosiers will see down there include Jackson State, Southern Miss, Central Arkansas and Belmont.
To start the month of March, Indiana will be at the DeMarini Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton, which runs from March 5-7. The Hoosiers will face a trio of teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament last year in North Carolina, Cal State Fullerton and Stanford. Additionally, the Hoosiers will play Pacific and UC Davis in the three-day event.
The USF Under Armour Showcase is an annual tournament in Clearwater, Fla., that brings in some of the best teams from the south and east for a full weekend of softball. This year, Indiana will open the weekend with Boston University, who was an NCAA Tournament team a year ago, followed by Jacksonville State for the second time this year. Day two will pit the Hoosiers against Saint Joseph's and Cleveland State before a Sunday matinee with Florida Gulf Coast, who recently transitioned to Division I with 47 wins last year.
The Hoosiers finally return home for the IU Classic from March 20-21 at the IU Softball Field. The first game will see the Hoosiers take on SIU Edwardsville and then later in the day play Central Michigan. In between those two games, SIU Edwardsville and Central Michigan will play each other. Then on Sunday, the Hoosiers and Chippewas battle for the second time in as many days to close out the tournament.
On March 24, yet another tournament team from a year ago shows up on the schedule as the Louisville Cardinals come calling in a non-conference game. The following week the Hoosiers travel to Indiana State to take on the Sycamores, a team Indiana defeated 5-4 in eight innings last year.
When the calendar turns to April, that means it's time for Big Ten play and a roadtrip to Iowa. The last time the Hoosiers played in Iowa City was during the 2006 season, the same year Indiana advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The first mid-week doubleheader of the year brings national power Michigan to the IU Softball Field on April 7. That weekend, the Hoosiers welcome the Michigan State Spartans to Bloomington, a year after the Hoosiers travelled to East Lansing and took both games from the Spartans.
"The Big Ten is always tough and this year is no different," said Gardner. "The teams are all very good from top to bottom so each game is going to be a battle right down the end. And since we don't have conference tournament, each and every game is extremely important."
The final non-conference game of the year is at Ball State on April 14 and is followed by roadtrips to Minnesota (April 18-19) and Ohio State (April 21). The month comes to a close with home games against Northwestern and Illinois.
To open May, the Hoosiers will be on the road the first two weekends for games against Wisconsin and Purdue before wrapping up the season at home against Penn State on April 14 and 15.
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