McNeese Softball Releases 2014 Schedule - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

McNeese Softball Releases 2014 Schedule

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McNeese State head softball coach Mike Smith has released the 2014 schedule and it is one that will test the Cowgirls early in the season. The Cowgirls will take part in four tournaments and will face six teams that took part in the NCAA Tournament last season.

The Cowgirls will begin the season on the road for all but one date in the month of February, that being a non-conference doubleheader against Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 19.
"The month of Feb will be tough. We will be on the road with a non-conference home game against Stephen F Austin squeezed in there. Our schedule is one that can help with RPI and potentially help us with postseason if we can get some big wins against non-conference teams. The first month of the season is very important for us as we need to play well, gain confidence and compete in the"big game" experience. I really believe to be the best you have to play the best and this was my mindset when I scheduled for the 2014 season," said head coach Mike Smith.
The Cowgirls will open the 2014 season at the South Alabama Mardi Gras Tournament (Feb. 7-9). The Cowgirls will open up the season against Alabama-Birmingham who played in the NCAA's last season. The tournament field will also have Austin Peay and Syracuse.
The following weekend, McNeese will play in the Texas A&M Aggie Classic where they will face Tulsa, Texas A&M and Oregon State. Tulsa and Texas A&M were also NCAA participants last season.
Following the home doubleheader against Stephen F. Austin, the Cowgirls will play in the Alabama Bama Bash (Feb. 21-23). The Cowgirls will face Central Florida, Virginia Tech and Alabama. Virginia Tech and Alabama are two more teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last year and Alabama is also the 2012 NCAA Champion.
"Playing Alabama will be a great experience for our players, with great facilities, great program and fan support. I'm looking forward to this matchup. With it being the Sunday afternoon game, there should be a great crowd and a lot of energy in Rhodes Stadium.
The final regular season tournament the Cowgirls will take part in is the North Texas Best Western Classic where they will play Wichita State and North Texas.
The Cowgirls will travel to nationally ranked UL-Lafayette (March 5) and LSU (April 9) for midweek games. The Cowgirls will also travel to Louisiana Tech (April 2) in a non-conference doubleheader and will host Florida International (March 15-16) and Southern (April 24) in non-conference home games.
The Cowgirls will begin defending their Southland Conference title on March 8 when they will travel to Sam Houston State for a three game series. McNeese will also travel to Texas A&M-CC, Northwestern State, Incarnate Word and Southeastern La. for conference series.
McNeese will host Houston Baptist, Central Arkansas, Nicholls and Lamar in Southland Conference series.
"I feel like we will be "battle tested" as we get into conference play with our preseason schedule. We are on the road with some tough SLC games at Northwestern St., Sam Houston State, Southeastern La., and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Southland Conference tournament is scheduled for May 8-10 in Hammond.
"These young ladies have been working hard each and every day to become the best student and softball players they can be. Our mindset from day one when I took over this program was to outwork our opponents in every aspect of this game and in the classroom. Academically these girls have rose to the challenge. The success of the SLC regular season championship and the disappointment at the SLC tournament has ignited the fire in each of the returning players. This mentality has rubbed off on the new ones as well. The drive to be the best is there, the work ethic is there and when February gets here, it will be time to lace the cleats up and play the game. And you can bet the Cowgirls will be there, ready to play with anyone."
2014 McNeese Softball Schedule
Feb. 7-9 at South Alabama Mardi Gras Tournament
Feb. 14-16 at Texas A&M Aggie Classic
Feb. 19 Stephen F. Austin/DH (non-conference)
Feb. 21-23 at Alabama Bama Bash
Mar. 1-2 at North Texas Best Western Classic
Mar. 5 at UL-Lafayette
Mar. 8 -9 *at Sam Houston State
Mar. 12-13 *Houston Baptist
Mar. 15-16 Florida International
Mar. 22-23 *at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Mar. 29-30 *at Northwestern State
Apr. 2 at Louisiana Tech
Apr. 5-6 *Central Arkansas
Apr. 9 at LSU
Apr. 12-13 at Incarnate Word
Apr. 18-19 *Nicholls
Apr. 24 Southern
Apr. 26-27 *at Southeastern La.
May 3-4 *Lamar
May 8-10 Southland Conference Tournament (Hammond, La.)
*-Southland Conference series
Home games in bold
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