For Immediate Release
Web Link to Release with full schedule: http://hailst.at/2iBT3V4
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Thirteen teams that competed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, including six games against programs that reached the 2017 Women’s College World Series, highlight the 2018 Mississippi State softball schedule.
The 55-game campaign, announced Tuesday by head coach Vann Stuedeman, features 35 games within the friendly confines of Nusz Park, as well as five neutral-site contests and 15 true road tests. Of the 55 regular-season contests, 30 are against teams that participated in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
“We are jacked to get this season started,” Stuedeman said. “We compete in the best the conference in the country, and our schedule brings tough competition to Nusz Park. We have a lot of newcomers that are eager to make an impact. Every game is important. We need the Maroon and White faithful to make Nusz the toughest venue in the nation.”
Last season, MSU punched a ticket to the Salt Lake City Regional with a 36-22 overall record for the program’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance over the last six seasons, the second-best stretch in program history. The Bulldogs made seven tournament appearances over eight seasons from 2002 to 2009.
State hosts two members of the 2017 WCWS field at Nusz Park in Southeastern Conference opponents Texas A&M and Florida. MSU also welcome Illinois, Georgia and Tennessee to Starkville, all of which made tournament appearances a season ago. One the road, MSU faces eight teams that earned tournament bids, including Arizona State, Oklahoma State, San Jose State, Cal State Fullerton, Missouri, Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
MSU opens the season at Nusz on Friday, Feb. 9 with a doubleheader against Mississippi Valley State (3 p.m. CT) and Nebraska-Omaha (5:30 p.m. CT) to open the Bulldog Kickoff Classic. The opening-weekend tournament also features Missouri State as the home-standing Bulldogs play five games over three days to open the 2018 slate.
The Bulldogs continue their homestand on Thursday, Feb. 15 with a midweek battle against UT-Martin at 4 p.m. before hosting their second nonconference tournament of the season, welcoming Murray State and Drake for the February Freezer over Feb. 16-17. MSU closes its 11-game home tilt to open the season on Tuesday, Feb. 20 against Southeastern Louisiana at 5:30 p.m. CT.
Hitting the road for the first time in 2018, MSU travels to Palm Springs, Calif., for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The three-day tournament spans Feb. 22-24 as MSU squares off against a challenging field of Arizona State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, San Jose State and Cal State Fullerton.
State returns home to host the Bulldog Slamboree on March 2-4. MSU will welcome Lamar, Mercer and Sam Houston State in its final tournament of the regular season. The Bulldogs host Boston College on Wednesday, March 7 before battling Illinois (March 9-10) and UMass-Lowell (March 10-11) for two-game series against both programs to round out the final weekend of non-conference play.
In the team’s final tune-up before SEC play, MSU travels to Samford on Tuesday, March 13 before hosting Memphis on Wednesday, March 14. Other nonconference midweek tilts include Central Arkansas (March 21), Alcorn State (April 10), Memphis (April 17) and Troy (April 25).
MSU opens conference play on the road with a trip to Columbia to face Missouri (March 16-18). The Bulldogs are scheduled to make SEC road trips to Arkansas (March 30-April 1), Ole Miss (April 13-15) and South Carolina (April 27-29).
The Bulldogs first home conference series is set against Georgia on March 23-25. Also making their way to Starkville this season is Texas A&M (April 6-8), 2017 WCWS runner-up Florida (April 20-22) and Tennessee (May 4-6).
For more on Mississippi State softball, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “HailStateSB.” You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for “HailStateSnap.”
Source- Communications Mississippi State Athletics