South Carolina Softball Releases 2009 Schedule
Nov. 5, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Three-game home series against Women's College World Series participants Florida and Alabama highlight the 2009 South Carolina softball schedule, released today by head coach Joyce Compton.
South Carolina faces another challenging schedule in 2009, as the Gamecocks will have 28 games against programs that competed in last spring's NCAA Tournament. Included in those are non-conference tilts at home against Chattanooga and Winthrop and a road game at North Carolina. There are also 23 games slated for renovated Beckham Field, which now features chair-back seating throughout the grandstand.
The season opens Feb. 7, as the College of Charleston comes to Columbia for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The squads will conclude the series on Sunday in Charleston, S.C. The next weekend takes the Gamecocks to Orlando, Fla., for the UCF Early Bird Tournament, where they will take on five teams at two different sites. A mid-week matchup at Charlotte preludes the Gamecock Invitational, which will consist of eight teams playing four games each from Fri., Feb. 20-Sun., Feb. 22. The pre-conference season tournaments wrap up for the Garnet and Black with a trip to the prestigious National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. The Gamecocks face super regional participants Houston and Penn State among their five games there.
A trip to Chapel Hill, N.C., on Wed., March 4, to take on the Tar Heels comes just ahead of the SEC opener on March 7, when the defending SEC champion Gators come to Beckham Field for a three-game set. South Carolina then faces Arkansas in a mid-week doubleheader in Fayetteville before a three-game series at Tennessee. The Mississippi Rebels come to Columbia for a mid-week twinbill on March 18 before Georgia crosses the state line for a three-game set that begins March 21. From there, the Gamecocks head to the plains for a series against Auburn to mark the halfway point in the league slate.
The Carolina Gamecocks step out of league action for a week to host defending Big South champion Winthrop and Coastal Carolina on April 2 and 7, respectively, before diving back into the SEC against perennial power Alabama. The first meeting in program history against USC Upstate follows on Tax Day to wrap up a six-game home stand. Seven road games follow, as a mid-week meeting at Coastal comes between trips to Mississippi State and LSU. The Garnet and Black will then close the regular season at home against Kentucky in a three-game series. Alumni Weekend will coincide with those contests against the Wildcats.
"We are looking forward to the 2009 season as a challenge," Compton said, "with the early part of the schedule preparing us for the tough SEC portion of the season. We will get a strong idea of where we are as a team once we head into SEC play. The early games will be important to get game experience for our 10 new players."
The Gamecocks bring back 12 letter-winners from a year ago, while 10 newcomers have joined the squad.