Four tournaments, 23 home games featured in '11 softball schedule

Four tournaments, 23 home games featured in '11 softball schedule

Tech faces 10 games against NCAA Tournament teams

Click here to view the 2011 schedule

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – An 11-game homestand in March including a tournament with a challenging field, a new wrinkle in the Ohio Valley Conference race, 23 home contests and several NCAA Tournament opponents highlight Tennessee Tech’s 55-game softball schedule in 2011, announced this week by head coach Tory Acheson.

Acheson’s squad gets his 13th season at Tech underway by playing 14 consecutive games on the road, including tournaments at Georgia State, North Texas and Chattanooga, plus a doubleheader at Belmont to kick off the month of March. 

Among the early season contests are games against Syracuse, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, North Texas, Toledo and Northwestern State.

After that, the Golden Eagles open a 11-game stretch on their home field by hosting the Tech Combat Classic, March 4-6. The field includes Middle Tennessee, North Carolina State, Belmont and Louisville.

“This schedule will be extremely challenging,” Acheson said. “We get a chance to play several NCAA teams, which is something we always try to do. This year’s schedule gives us a real good mix of NCAA-caliber opponents.

“It’s also a little change of pace to be able to play as many at home as we will see this year,” he added. “We’re excited about the chance to host some really outstanding teams.”

In all, 10 games on the schedule are against teams that played last spring in the NCAA Tournament. The list includes Syracuse, Nebraska, Louisville, Jacksonville State, Kentucky and Lipscomb. JSU and Louisville will meet Tech in Cookeville.

Tech plays 23 games at home, 10 on neutral fields and 22 as the visiting team, all leading up to the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, scheduled for May 12-14 at the site of the regular season champion.

In OVC play, Tech hosts 15 home games and plays 15 on the road. Home conference three-game series are scheduled against Tennessee State, Eastern Illinois, Morehead State and Austin Peay, plus a doubleheader with Eastern Kentucky and a single game against Jacksonville State. Tech goes on the road for league weekends at Southeast Missouri, Murray State, UT Martin and OVC newcomer SIU Edwardsville, plus a doubleheader at JSU and a single game at EKU.

“The OVC is very hard to predict,” he said. “The league is so improved over the years since I came here, there isn’t a team anymore that you can anticipate wins against. Even the teams in the bottom of the conference get some wins and are big challenges.”

Included in Tech’s non-conference home schedule are single-game visits from UT Chattanooga, Bowling Green, Appalachian State and Western Kentucky.

The season begins at a tournament at Georgia State, Feb. 12-13. The Golden Eagles are scheduled to face Syracuse and host Georgia State.

The following weekend, Tech plays in the North Texas Invitational, Feb. 18-20. Tech’s games are against Centenary, Nebraska, Northwestern State, and the host Mean Green.

The Golden Eagles play their third tournament in Chattanooga at the Frost Classic, Feb. 25-27, where they will face IUPUI, Northern Iowa, Toledo, Northwestern State and East Tennessee.

Admission is free to all of Tech’s regular season home games.