Missouri State Softball Announces 2014 Slate
Nov. 12, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State head softball coach Holly Hesse announced the completion of her squad's 2014 schedule today. The Bears are scheduled to play 56 games, including 17 home games at Killian Stadium and at least nine matchups against NCAA Tournament teams from 2013.
"It is a good mix of challenging opponents along with some winnable games," said head coach Holly Hesse. "We will definitely be challenged by teams like Minnesota, Oklahoma State and others. But we have the opportunity to get off to a really good start in the first month of the season."
The Bears will begin the 2014 campaign with a 23-game road swing in six different states starting in Atlanta, Ga., with a three-game set against ACC power Georgia Tech on February 8 and 9. It will mark the second-straight season that MSU opens in Atlanta.
The following weekend sees MSU travel to Arlington, Texas, for the UTA Maverick Invitational. The Bears will play five games including their first battle against an NCAA Tournament participant, Central Michigan. The UTA Invitational is a four-team round-robin tournament including semifinals and a championship game.
The final full weekend in February will see MSU travel to Memphis for the Blues City Classic. The Bears went 4-1 in 2012 at the BCC. Among the field of teams, Missouri State will face Lipscomb and host Memphis, opponents from 2013.
March brings the annual Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament with a couple unique twists. After last season's tournament was snowed out, SEMO will host again this season. In addition, the tournament will now feature a championship game due to Missouri dropping out.
A midweek game at Central Arkansas on March 5 will give the Bears a brief respite from tournament play before MSU takes off to Stillwater for the Oklahoma State Mizuno Classic. The Bears will play Valley opponent Drake in a non-conference game before taking on NCAA Tournament participant Minnesota and host Oklahoma State twice each.
The popular destination for 2014 spring break at Missouri State will be Killian Stadium with the Bears' home opener against SIU Edwardsville on March 12. The midweek game kicks off a five-game home stand that includes the MVC opener as well. The home stand concludes with Northern Colorado in a nostalgic matchup of AIAW College World Series foes from the early 1970's.
MSU will stop in Kansas City for a single game at UMKC before trekking to Chicago for its first-ever meeting with new league foe Loyola on March 22 and 23.
The Bears cap off March with home games against Tulsa, another NCAA team from 2013, and league rival Southern Illinois. As the calendar turns to April, Missouri State heads to Arkansas before travelling to Drake for the third-straight season.
A home weekend against Indiana State on April 12 and 13 is sandwiched in before another four-game road trip. The Bears will play a single game at Wichita State (April 16) before voyaging to UNI on Easter weekend for the traditional Friday-Saturday series.
The Bears get no rest for the weary as they return home on April 22 for a twin bill against the Shockers and turn around to play at Missouri the next day. MSU hosts Illinois State for the final home stand of the season on April 26 and 27, before heading to Evansville to conclude the regular season.
Following the regular season, the Bears will travel to Normal, Ill., for the MVC Softball Championship hosted by Illinois State.
Missouri State will have special festivities surrounding some of its home games this season. Of special note, the Sunday, April 13 game against Indiana State will be the Bears' Pink Game. On Sunday, April 27, MSU will honor its seniors as part of Senior Day at the K. In addition, the Bears will hold free post-game clinics following their games on Sunday, March 30 and Sunday, April 13.
Last season, the Bears were 22-30 with a 13-12 record in MVC play. MSU returns six starters from last season including All-MVC first-teamer Ashley Brentz and second-team picks Heather Duckworth and Mary Stephens.