Minnesota Unveils 2014 Schedule
Dec. 16, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – University of Minnesota softball head coach Jessica Allister released the team’s 2014 schedule Monday afternoon. The Gophers’ regular season, which kicks off Feb. 7, includes 56 games and has the Gophers traveling to six in-season tournaments prior to the start of Big Ten Conference play. Jane Sage Cowles Stadium is slated to play host to 16 Minnesota home games.
"We are excited about the schedule we have ahead of us for the 2014 season,” said Allister. “We are facing some great opponents early on, which will give us a good idea of where we are as a team and where we need to be. I know the team is excited to get back on the field to compete."
Coming off a 36-win season in which the team reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003, Minnesota will be tested in 2014 with 17 games against 10 different national tournament-qualifying opponents, including four of the eight teams that reached the last year’s Women’s College World Series.
The season kicks off Feb. 7-9 with a trip to Baton Rouge, La. for the Tiger Classic, where the Gophers will play five teams that combined for 160 wins in 2013. Minnesota will take on Murray State and tournament host LSU on the first day and will finish the weekend with Southern Illinois, Central Arkansas, and Oklahoma State.
Tournament play continues the following week in Las Vegas, Nev. with the Sportco Kick-Off Classic. After beginning play against host UNLV, Minnesota will sandwich a contest against Boise State between games against two 2013 NCAA Tournament teams, BYU and Florida. The Gators advanced to the Women’s College World Series and finished their season as the No. 5-ranked team in the country.
Minnesota picks up play with its first of two trips to the East Coast for the UNC-Greensboro Spartan Classic Feb. 21-23. The Gophers will begin play in North Carolina against George Washington before facing the host Spartans twice along with Army and Hampton, both of which made the NCAA Tournament last year.
Following the tournament in Greensboro, the Gophers will travel to Tempe, Ariz. for the Louisville Slugger Classic, hosted by Women’s College World Series qualifier Arizona State to finish February and begin March. On the docket in Arizona will be Detroit Mercy, NCAA postseason participant South Carolina, Ball State, Florida International, and the home standing Sun Devils.
The Gophers’ second-to-last tournament from March 7-9 will take place in Stillwater, Okla. at Oklahoma State’s Mizuno Classic. Minnesota will clash with Missouri State and Drake twice apiece, as well as the host Cowgirls one time.
The non-conference tournament slate wraps up at Coastal Carolina’s Chanticleer Classic with games against Georgia State, Troy, and CCU. Minnesota will play the Trojans twice. Before returning home, Minnesota will head to Columbia, S.C. to play a night game against South Carolina.
The Gophers begin Big Ten play March 21-23 at Nebraska, a week before their 2014 home-opening series against Illinois. Minnesota, which went 14-6 in its conference last season, will also play three-game series versus Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan, Penn State, and Indiana, as well as a road doubleheader against Iowa April 9.
North Dakota and North Dakota State will visit Minneapolis for non-conference twin billings April 23 and April 30, respectively.
Postseason play begins May 8 with the Big Ten Tournament in Evanston, Ill. The 2014 NCAA Tournament begins May 16.
For ticket information regarding any of Minnesota's home games this season, please visit www.mygophersports.com.