Nov. 7, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Softball has announced its 2014 schedule, with head coach Ehren Earleywine's squad taking on some of the top teams in the country, both at University Field and across the nation. The Tigers will matchup against at least 14 NCAA Tournament teams from 2013, including three for three-game home series during Southeastern Conference action.
"This is an excellent schedule for our program, as we look to blend a lot of returning veteran leadership with our newcomers," Earleywine said. "Some of the early trips will be good for the team, experience-wise, but it will be great to play in front of our fans at University Field later in the season."
Earleywine's group put together another standout campaign in 2013, with the Tigers compiling a 38-14 overall record and 15-8 mark in SEC play with the season culminating in a sixth-straight NCAA Super Regional appearance. Mizzou finished the season ranked No. 11 by the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll and the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll, respectively.
The Tigers start the 2014 season at the Jacksonville Tournament, hosted by JU at the Debbie and Fred Pruitt Softball Complex in Jacksonville, Fla., from Feb. 14-16. Among five games, Mizzou will face three teams from the 2013 NCAA field with Louisville, North Carolina and Notre Dame (twice). The following weekend takes Missouri across the country to the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., from Feb. 20-23. Earleywine's crew faces an impressive five-game slate of Arizona, Baylor, Fordham, San Diego State and UCLA, all NCAA teams a season ago.
Mizzou then returns to The Sunshine State for the Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Fla., hosted at Disney/ESPN's Wide World of Sports. The Tigers play five games from Feb. 28-March 2.
The road trips continue to start SEC action, with the Tigers heading to Texas A&M from March 7-9, followed by a non-conference doubleheader at Evansville on March 12. The Aggies advanced to the NCAA Super Regional round last season.
The remaining month of March features 14 Mizzou games in the state of Missouri. The Tigers' home-opening series matches the Mizzou against conference foe and 2013 Super Regional participant Kentucky from March 14-16, which is then followed by a mid-week doubleheader against Illinois State on March 19.
March continues with the Mizzou Tournament from March 21-23, giving the Tigers games against Ball State (Friday), North Dakota State (Saturday), Oklahoma State (Saturday) and UMKC (Sunday). Mizzou follows up the tournament with a mid-week doubleheader vs. Illinois in St. Louis on March 25. The month closes with Mizzou's second SEC home matchup, a series against Georgia from March 28-30. The Bulldogs were an NCAA Tournament team in 2013.
Mizzou then has two SEC road trips, Mississippi State (April 4-6) and Auburn (April 11-13), with a mid-week doubleheader at home with Western Illinois (April 9) in between. The Tigers then visit Iowa for a doubleheader the following week on April 16.
Earleywine's squad and Ole Miss will meet at University Field from April 18-19, a Friday (doubleheader) and Saturday arrangement ahead of Easter. The following Wednesday (April 23) features a home doubleheader with Missouri State.
Mizzou then hits the road for 2013 Women's College World Series participant Florida from April 25-27. The trip is followed by a mid-week doubleheader against Creighton at home on April 29.
The Tigers close the regular season at University Field with SEC opponent Alabama, an NCAA Tournament team a season ago, from May 1-3, with the Saturday contest serving as Senior Day for Mizzou.
The postseason begins with the SEC Softball Tournament in Columbia, S.C., from May 8-10, hosted at the Gamecocks' Carolina Softball Stadium. NCAA Regionals are tentatively set for May 16-18, with Super Regional action then scheduled from May 22-25. The NCAA Women's College World Series will take place in Oklahoma City from May 29-June 4.
Ticket information will be announced at a later date, along with times for home contests which are subject to pending television arrangements.
Fans are encouraged to check MUTigers.com and the softball team's social media outlets, @MizzouSoftball and Facebook, for updates and additional information.
A full schedule can be found online at MUTigers.com.