Jan. 13, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri softball program, coming off their third consecutive trip to the Women's College World Series in 2011, has finalized their 2012 schedule, as announced on Friday morning. Mizzou will compete in four tournaments during the regular season and is set to host 24 games at University Field.
After hosting the Black and Gold intersquad on Feb. 11, the Tigers will open the year with four straight tournaments, beginning with the Quality Inn Classic in Troy, Ala from Feb. 17-19. Along with host Troy, Missouri will face Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee State and Nicholls State.
Missouri will then head out to Palm Springs, Calif., for the Cathedral City Classic, arguably the best Division I softball tournament in the country. After opening with UC Davis, the Tigers will go on to face Nebraska, Washington, Northwestern and UCLA, all potential top-25 matchups. The three-day tournament will run from Feb. 24-26.
The Tigers return to the state of Missouri to kick off March, as they'll head west on I-70 to Kansas City for the annual Missouri Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament from March 2-4. Mizzou will take on the state's other Division I programs in Missouri State, Saint Louis, SEMO and UMKC.
The following weekend, March 9-11, the Tigers will finally begin play at University Field, as they prepare to play 11 of their next 12 games at home, starting with the DeMarini Invitational. Mizzou will welcome Alcorn State, Boise State and Northern Illinois, as they get set to play six games in three days. The Tigers will face Alcorn State three times, Boise State twice and Northern Illinois once.
After a brief one-game stop in Fayetteville, Ark., with future SEC foe Arkansas, the Tigers head back to Columbia to begin Big 12 play. With just nine teams in the league this season, the conference schedule has been adjusted to allow for more games. Instead of playing two game sets as in years past, each Big 12 series will be three games, usually running from Friday through Sunday.
Missouri will play host to Kansas (March 16-18), Baylor (March 30-April 1), Texas Tech (April 13-15) and Oklahoma State (May 11-13), while traveling to Texas A&M (March 23-25), Texas (April 5-7), Oklahoma (April 20-22) and Iowa State (April 27-29).
Other home non-conference games that are scheduled include doubleheaders against Iowa on March 21 and Evansville on March 28, a matchup with Northern Iowa on April 11, a single game against Western Illinois on April 18 and a contest against Saint Louis on May 2. On May 4-5, Missouri will head back west to Eugene, Ore., for a big three-game non-conference series against the Oregon Ducks in a rematch from the 2010 NCAA Super Regionals where Missouri swept the Ducks in two games.
This year's NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 18-20, while the Super Regional round is set for May 25-27. The 2012 Women's College World Series, held in Oklahoma City, Okla., is scheduled for May 31 through June 6.