Gamecocks Release 2013 Softball Schedule; Open New Stadium on March 13
Jan. 3, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina has put together a tough softball schedule for 2013, scheduling 31 games against teams in last year's NCAA Tournament. The full slate includes the date for opening the new Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field, which is Wed., March 13 against Furman.
"The 2013 schedule is certainly a challenging one," said Gamecock head softball coach Beverly Smith. "We will be road-tested, as we will be traveling for the first five weekends of the season. The reward is huge as we will be able to open the 2013 home season in the brand new Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field! Gamecock fans will have plenty to cheer for this season."
With construction ongoing to the state-of-the-art facility, the Gamecocks will play in three tournaments in Florida, one in Georgia and another inside the Palmetto State. The lid-lifter takes place on Feb. 8 in the Stetson Leadoff Classic, where the Gamecocks will face the Michigan State Spartans, one of three Big 10 teams on the schedule. The Gamecocks and Spartans will face off three times during the opening weekend in DeLand, Fla., while South Carolina faces the host Hatters twice in the event.
The next weekend sees the Gamecocks head to the UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament in Orlando, Fla. South Carolina will square off against Sunshine State schools Florida A&M, Stetson and UCF, the latter the first NCAA Tournament participant on the schedule, before rounding out the event against Buffalo and UT Arlington. Over Feb. 22-24, the Gamecocks will play at Patriots Point in the College of Charleston Cougar Classic, with exact game times to be released at a later date. Also in the tournament in Charleston are Radford, Wagner and Charleston Southern.
The first weekend of March has the Gamecocks in the Eagle Classic at Georgia Southern, facing Alabama State, Kennesaw State, Florida International and the host Eagles. That contest against Georgia Southern starts a stretch of four-straight games against NCAA Tournament teams, with the next three the first foes in the Under Armour Showcase hosted by the University of South Florida at two sites. There the Gamecocks face the UMass Minutewomen and the host Bulls at the USF Softball Stadium as well as the Northwestern Wildcats at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. South Carolina also is slated to face Villanova and Penn State in Clearwater.
South Carolina opens the home schedule and Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field on Wed., March 13 against Furman. The first SEC contest in the new facility is set for Fri., March 15, when reigning national champion Alabama comes to Columbia. The Gamecocks host the Crimson Tide for a three-game set over the weekend, with game times at 7 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday, the times for the next two SEC home weekends as well against Kentucky (April 5-7) and Georgia (April 12-14).
In addition to the four SEC home series, the Gamecocks host seven non-conference games at Beckham Field during March and April against Campbell (March 19, 5 p.m.), Appalachian State (April 3, 7 p.m.), Coastal Carolina (April 10 DH, 5 p.m.), Presbyterian (April 16, 6 p.m.) and Charlotte (April 24, 6 p.m.). The regular-season home schedule concludes over May 3-5, when Florida comes to Columbia. Game times for that series will be 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All times are subject to change, and additions are possible to the schedule.
South Carolina previously announced conference trips to LSU (March 22-24), Missouri (March 29-30), Auburn (April 19-21) and Mississippi State (April 26-28). The 2013 SEC Tournament, expanded to 10 teams this year, takes place at Kentucky starting May 8. The NCAA Tournament begins the following weekend on campus sites.
The Gamecocks bring back four position player starters and two of its main pitchers from last year's team that went 23-32 as well as two major contributors from the 2011 squad that missed last year with injuries. This 2013 team will be the first to play in the new stadium that has been built on the same site that has hosted Gamecock Softball since at least 1983, a field that has hosted seven NCAA Regionals.