Gamecock Softball Releases 2010 Schedule
Nov. 18, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina will host 24 games at Beckham Field this spring and take on 14 teams that made last year's NCAA Tournament, as the Gamecocks finalized their 2010 schedule today.
Head coach Joyce Compton, who enters her 24th season at the helm of the program, and her staff set up a season-opening tournament that is all about the Palmetto State. Seven of the nine Division I softball programs from South Carolina descend on venerable Beckham Field over Feb. 12-14 for a three-day tournament called the Carolina Cup. The Gamecocks will take on College of Charleston, Furman, Winthrop and Charleston Southern during the event, while USC Upstate and Coastal Carolina will also be a part of the field. South Carolina is scheduled to face the other two teams in the field during midweek games in March and April.
While also hosting midweek games during the first three weeks, the squad is scheduled for weekend tournaments in Orlando, Fla. (Feb. 19-21), for the second consecutive year and Boca Raton, Fla. (Feb. 27-28), for the fourth time in five years. The final non-conference tourney will be the Easton SEC/Midwest Challenge in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where the Gamecocks will face NCAA Tournament teams DePaul and Michigan twice each over March 5-7.
Southeastern Conference play opens on Wed., March 10 at Mississippi with a doubleheader. Home league action starts Sat., March 13, when LSU comes to South Carolina. The annual tilt against North Carolina, a game that has been wiped out due to weather the past two years, is slated for March 30. The final SEC home weekend is April 17-18 against Mississippi State, while the home finale comes the following Wed., April 21 against Coastal.
In addition to 14 NCAA Tournament teams appearing on the schedule, the Gamecocks face half of last year's Women's College World Series field, all away from home. While two will take place at Alabama over two weekends in March (Michigan and the Crimson Tide), the Gamecocks close out SEC play with road trips to Georgia on April 24-25 and Florida on May 8-9. The SEC Tournament is set for Fayetteville, Ark., over May 13-15.
"We'll challenge ourselves in non-conference play," commented Compton. "We need to do that to better ourselves before conference play. Once in conference play, you have to play your best, because every team has the ability to win any game."
Six starters and three pitchers return from last year's squad that went 21-24.