Nov. 2, 2009
ATLANTA – Three Women’s College World Series participants and 18 NCAA Tournament teams from last year highlight the 2010 Georgia Tech Softball schedule released today by head coach Sharon Perkins. The Yellow Jackets will play 20 home games at Mewborn Field and host two tournaments this season.
The 2009 Georgia Tech softball team capped its best season in program history by finishing with its highest ranking in the national polls. The Yellow Jackets finished 13th in both the final NFCA and ESPN.COM top 25 polls as well as 12th in the RPI. Tech advanced to a Super Regional for the first time ever and won both the ACC regular season and tournament title.
“We’ll face some tough tests, especially early in the season, but this is the kind of schedule we need to be playing to get ready for the ACC schedule and beyond,” said Perkins. “We’ll go to a couple of new places this year and it will be nice to spend spring break in Texas and allow our Lone Star State natives to get a chance to play at home. Now that we have our new stadium, it’s also going to be great to play more night games like we will this year against Georgia and also to host a second home tournament.”
Tech will begin the season, Feb. 12-14 at the USF-DeMarini Tournament in Clearwater, Fla., where it will face Long Island, Florida, Canisius, Florida Gulf Coast and host South Florida. The Gators advanced to the national championship series a year ago, while Canisius was also a tournament team.
The next weekend, Georgia Tech will head west to the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. There, the Jackets will face stiff competition from Northwestern, BYU, Hawaii, Long Beach State and California. Those were all tournament teams from a year ago, except for Hawaii, while Cal advanced to the Super Regionals.
After hosting Kennesaw State in the home opener, Feb. 24, the Jackets head to Columbus, Ga., to participate in the NFCA Leadoff Classic on the site of the softball competition from the 1996 Olympic Games. In Columbus, the Jackets will face four more NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago in Iowa, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas and Nebraska. The Jackets will also face Central Florida, the team who knocked Tech out of the NCAA Gainesville Regional in 2008.
March begins with Tech hosting back-to-back tournaments. The annual Buzz Classic will be March 5-7 in Woodstock, Ga., and this year Tech will look to defend its 2009 title against Seton Hall, James Madison, Kentucky, Dartmouth and Ole Miss. JMU and Kentucky both made NCAA Regionals last year. Following a mid-week game at Georgia State (March 9), Georgia Tech hosts the inaugural Springhill Suites Buckhead Classic at Mewborn Field, March 12-14. Mississippi Valley State, a 2009 NCAA participant, as well as Fordham, Mercer and Georgia State make up the rest of the field.
The Jackets will begin their quest of defending the ACC title March 20-21 with a three-game series at North Carolina. From there, the Jackets are off to Texas for spring break where the three Lone Star State natives, Kristen Adkins (McKinney), Emily Schreck (Allen) and Kelsi Weseman (Hutto) will get a chance to play close to home. They will play a doubleheader at Houston on March 23 and then visit another NCAA team from a year ago, Texas A&M, for a single game on March 24.
The ACC home opener will be March 27-28 against Maryland and the Jackets will also host ACC series’ against Virginia Tech (April 2-3), Virginia (April 10-11) and Boston College (April 17-18). In addition to UNC, road trips in the league will be Florida State (April 24-25) and NC State (May 1-2).
Tech and Georgia will play a home and home series this season for the first time. The two teams will play a night game at Mewborn Field on April 7 and then a game in Athens on April 21. The Jackets will also play a late season night game at Alabama, another WCWS team from a year ago, on April 28.
The 2010 ACC Tournament this season will be May 14-16 in Blacksburg, Va. and for the second straight year, it will be single elimination format.