@Memphis Softball Releases 2014 Spring Schedule
Sept. 18, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – University of Memphis softball head coach Natalie Poole released the team’s 2014 spring schedule, a slate that features 20 home contests and the Blues City Classic in Southaven, Miss. at the end of February.
The schedule is both challenging and exciting for Poole and the Tigers. Memphis will play 16 games this spring against teams that played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
“We want our girls to be exposed to teams that we have to beat to get to those postseason settings, there’s no doubt about that,” Poole said. “It will challenge us to raise the level of our game. We need that to get better.”
The Tigers also start play in their new home, the American Athletic Conference.
“Our conference has some teams that have been traditionally strong, and we expect them to be postseason contenders this season,” Poole said. “So we definitely have our work cut out for us in conference play.”
Memphis will open the 2014 season with a tournament in Troy, Ala., facing Middle Tennessee, Kennesaw State, North Florida and Troy on Feb. 7, 8 and 9.
The squad then travels to Lafayette, La., and take on a strong field the next weekend (Feb. 14-16). In addition to Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis plays Michigan, a 2013 College World Series Finalist, Boston College and Valparaiso.
The Tigers once again host the Blues City Classic in Southaven, Miss., from Feb. 21-23. Eleven teams will travel to Southaven for the three-day event.
“Southaven has a great park, they work really well with us, and playing there allows us to bring in a lot of teams from around the region,” Poole said of the event. “There is a nice atmosphere around the event, and we get really great community support.”
Memphis concludes their pre-conference schedule with trips to Gulfport, Miss. (Feb. 28-March 2) and DeLand, Fla. (March 7-9).
Fans can get their first glimpse of the 2014 team at the Tiger Softball Complex on March 12, when Memphis hosts Jackson State in a doubleheader.
American Athletic Conference play opens with a trip to Orlando, Fla. Memphis squares off with the UCF Knights to begin league play on March 22 and 23.
The Tigers host conference foes Temple, Houston and Louisville in Memphis this season.
This year’s schedule provides challenges and opportunities for the 2013-14 team and many exciting matchups for the fans.
“It’s a fresh group of teams. There a lot of teams on this schedule that we don’t normally play,” Poole said. “We have an opportunity to have a great year and do some great things in a new conference and lay the groundwork for the future of the program. It’s going to be a lot of fun."
Memphis is coming off of a 24-36 finish last season, but returns 14 letterwinners, including 2013 Conference USA All-Freshman Team selection Hannah Harrell and the top two pitchers, Ellen Roberts and Jordan Richwood. Seven newcomers also join the team this season.
Memphis opens 2014 in Troy, Ala. against Middle Tennessee on Feb. 7.