Dec. 5, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Head coach Marla Looper and the University of Iowa softball team announced the details of its 2013 schedule. The Hawkeyes will play 13 opponents that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a season ago, including defending national champion Alabama.
The Big Ten Tournament is back for the first time since 2008. Following the conclusion of the regular season, Iowa will travel to Lincoln, Neb., May 9-12.
“In our sport, you have three seasons — the preseason, the conference season and postseason,” said Looper. “The Big Ten Tournament is added this year, and we want to get to NCAA postseason play.”
“In season one, we face the defending national champion twice, we face teams that have been in the World Series multiple times, and we face a handful of teams that were in postseason play last year. We are doing our best to schedule as best we can because if we play the best, we beat the best, we become the best. That is our goal.”
The Hawkeyes open the season with six tournaments in five states. Iowa begins play at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 8-10, where it will face Lipscomb, UT-Arlington, Houston, Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas State. Houston, Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas State were members of the 2012 NCAA Tournament field. The Ragin’ Cajuns advanced to the Super Regionals.
The Hawkeyes return to Texas for their second-straight tournament to open the season, playing in the Lovelace Invitational in Denton on Feb. 15-17. Iowa will battle Dayton, Oklahoma State (twice), Nebraska-Omaha and North Texas.
Two matchups against 2012 national champion Alabama await next as the Hawkeyes head south to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Bama Bash (Feb. 22-24). Iowa will face the Crimson Tide and Winthrop twice before rounding out the weekend with a game against Western Illinois.
“We face the defending national champion twice, we face teams that have been in the World Series multiple times, and we face a handful of teams that were in postseason play last year. We are doing our best to schedule as best we can because if we play the best, we beat the best, we become the best. That is our goal.”
— Head coach Marla Looper
Once the calendar turns to March, Iowa will travel to the West Coast for the Easton Invitational, hosted by Cal State-Fullerton. It marks Iowa’s third-consecutive trip to Fullerton. The Hawkeyes will open play March 1 against two NCAA Tournament qualifiers — Oregon State and Stanford. The squad then rounds out the weekend against Cal State Fullerton and CSU Bakersfield on March 2.
Iowa travels to future Big Ten opponent and 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifier Maryland (March 9-10) to compete in the Miken Invitational. The Hawkeyes open play in College Park, Md., against St. John’s and the Terrapins, before concluding action against Radford and Ohio State in a nonconference matchup. The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes do not meet during the Big Ten regular season.
Iowa concludes its preseason slate in the state of Kentucky. The Hawkeyes will compete in the Louisville Tournament (March 17-18) against two squads that advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament — North Carolina and Louisville — and Ball State.
Before returning home to Iowa City to open conference play, Iowa will play at NCAA Tournament participant Kentucky on March 20 in its 28th-consecutive contest away from home.
The Hawkeyes host Minnesota (March 22-24) in their Pearl Field Debut before traveling to Wisconsin (March 29-31) and Drake (April 3). Iowa hosts new conference rival Nebraska for the second-straight season (April 5-7) and then travels to Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern (April 12-14) to begin a stretch of three-consecutive series against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams.
The Hawkeyes host Missouri in a doubleheader on April 17 before heading to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face 2012 Big Ten champion Michigan (April 19-21). The Hawkeyes finished 16-8 in league play a year ago, two games back of the Wolverines (18-5), who fell to Alabama in last year’s Super Regionals.
Iowa plays six games in five days from April 24 to April 28. The Hawkeyes will host Illinois in a doubleheader on April 24 before traveling to Northern Iowa on April 25. Iowa rounds out the week with a three-game set against Penn State in Iowa City (April 26-28).
The annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series is scheduled for Wed., May 1. The Hawkeyes will host Iowa State at 6:30 p.m. Iowa closes the Big Ten regular season with a three-game series at Purdue (May 3-5) before competing in the Big Ten Tournament.
The NCAA Regionals are set for May 17-19, NCAA Super Regionals are slated for May 24-26 and the 2013 NCAA Women’s College World Series will take place May 30 – June 5 in Oklahoma City.