Missouri State Softball Finalizes Slate for 2013 Season
Oct. 9, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State head softball coach Holly Hesse announced the completion of the program's schedule for the 2013 season today. The 45th season in program history gets underway on February 8 in Atlanta, Ga. Among the highlights are 17 home games at Killian Stadium and 11 games against teams from the 2012 NCAA Tournament field.
"The challenging schedule will push us to get better," said Hesse. "With 11 games against NCAA Tournament teams on the schedule, we should be battle-tested for post-season play."
The Bears will be tested early and often with four early season road tournaments. The season will get underway on February 8 at the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Invitational where MSU will play three of the five games against Coastal Carolina and Georgia Tech, NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago.
The next two weekends see the Bears travel to San Antonio, Texas, and Chattanooga, Tenn., for five-game tournaments at each location. At the UTSA Tournament, MSU will face Big 12 opponent Iowa State and Big East foe Rutgers. The challenge continues at the Frost Classic in Chattanooga as the Bears will open against another ACC opponent in Boston College.
Missouri State will open at home on February 28 with a single game against Wright State at 4:00 p.m. The Bears then set back out on the road for the annual Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament hosted by SEMO. Among the field of competition will be Missouri, a team that reached the Super Regionals in 2012.
The Bears will then take a week off to recuperate before hitting the road for games at Memphis and SIU Edwardsville on March 12 and 13, respectively.
MSU kicks off the conference slate at home on March 16. The UNI Panthers, last season's MVC regular season champions, begin a four-game home stand for the Bears. MSU will conclude the home stand with a single game against UMKC on March 20.
The next day, Missouri State will once again play games on the road, this time at Kansas in a doubleheader. A trip to Indiana State for a conference showdown wraps the five-game road swing.
The Bears then return to Killian for a second four-game home stand featuring conference opponent Drake and the SEC's Missouri for the second match up of the season. MSU will travel to MVC Tournament champion Illinois State for a conference series before playing Central Arkansas at Killian in a single game on April 9.
Again the Bears will follow a mid-week home game with a road game the following day as they travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to face the Razorbacks, another NCAA Tournament team from a year ago. MSU will also visit conference foes Southern Illinois and Wichita State as part of the six-game road trip.
Missouri State will conclude the home portion of the schedule to end April with a seven-game home stand. The Bears open with a three-game set against Evansville on April 20 and 21. Wichita State will complete the season series with a single game on April 24 before the Bears conclude the home schedule with three games against Creighton.
The Bears kick off the final road swing of the regular season at Tulsa. The single game against the Golden Hurricane will mark the 11th match up against an NCAA Tournament team. The regular season conclude with a three-game series at Bradley.
Following the regular season, the MVC Softball Championship will be played in Omaha, Neb., from May 9 through May 11. The Bears have the most wins (68) in MVC Tournament history.
The Bears return 14 letterwinners and all-MVC first teamer Ashley Brentz from a team that finished 25-26 overall with a 12-14 mark in the MVC last season. The 2012 season began with Hesse's 600th career win at MSU and pitcher Natalie Rose climbed into the career top-five in nearly every pitching category.