Jan. 26, 2012
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina head softball coach Beverly Smith released the team's 2012 schedule today, highlighted by 28 home games and tournaments in Miami, Fla., and Riverside, Calif.
"I am excited about the 2012 schedule," said Smith. "We will compete in four tournaments before opening SEC play; hosting two of those tournaments at home. We will travel to Miami, Fla., and Riverside, Calif., for two challenging tournaments. We have four players from California, so I am thrilled that that will be able to compete in front of their friends and families. These tournaments will prepare us well for our SEC opener on March 9 as we host Arkansas at Beckham Field. I loved the atmosphere that our fan base created at the games last season. I promise the 2012 softball team will give fans plenty opportunities to cheer this spring!"
The Gamecocks host two tournaments this season, with the Palmetto Classic opening the season and the Gamecock Invitational coming two weeks later. The Palmetto Classic includes Cleveland State, Tennessee State, Western Kentucky and Winthrop, while the Gamecock Invitational features Appalachian State, Elon, George Washington and Presbyterian, with South Carolina facing all eight of the teams visiting campus.
Between the two home events, the Gamecocks will play in the Blue & Gold Feisberg Memorial against host Florida Interinational, Providence, Illinois-Chicago, Villanova and Jacksonville. The team wraps up its pre-conference tourney schedule at the Highlander Classic, taking on Portland State, Maine, host UC Riverside and UC Davis. South Carolina will also face Winthrop, Charleston Southern, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, North Carolina and Longwood in non-conference action, facing the Eagles, Buccaneers and 49ers in midweek games at Beckham Field and challenging the Lancers on Sat., March 31 in a doubleheader.
The Gamecocks host four SEC weekend series in 2012, welcoming Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee and Auburn to Beckham Field, while Mississippi State comes to Columbia for a mid-week doubleheader. The Gamecocks will play road series at 2011 Women's College World Series semifinalists Florida and Alabama while also facing Kentucky and Mississippi in weekend three-game sets. South Carolina also takes on Georgia in a road SEC doubleheader. The Gamecocks will be vying for a trip to the SEC Tournament, hosted by Alabama this year over May 10-12.
This 2012 season will be at least the 30th that the Gamecocks have played at their home on the South Marion St., with records dating the Gamecocks back to the site to at least 1983. It will be the 15th season at Beckham Field, the name the site took on when the current grandstands were constructed in time for the 1998 season. The field will stay on the same site, but in 2013 a new stadium will sit atop the grounds, with capacity rising from the current 700.
Fans interested in purchasing season tickets for the 23-home date schedule can contact the ticket office at 1-800-4SC-FANS (1-800-472-3267) or locally at 803-777-4274. They can also order online or in person at the box office at Colonial Life Arena. Those season tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under.
The season begins on Feb. 10 against Tennessee State, with the Tigers and Gamecocks scheduled for a 3 p.m. first pitch at historic Beckham Field.
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