Dec. 12, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Head softball coach Holly Aprile has announced the 2013 schedule, which includes 11 teams that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, five preseason tournaments to open the campaign and 14 home contests.
The Panthers open their season at the Texas A&M Tournament with contests against Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M and North Carolina, Feb. 15-17 at College Station, Texas.
Pitt will then travel to Bowling Green, Ky. to participate in the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic hosted by Western Kentucky the following weekend. The Panthers will play South Dakota St., Dayton, Western Michigan, Valparaiso and Western Kentucky.
Pitt’s third tournament is the ESPN Disney Tournament, which takes places March 1-3. The tournament features roughly 40 teams from around the country and Pitt’s five opponents are James Madison, Louisiana-Lafayette, LIU Brooklyn, Fordham and Fairfield.
It is then to the West Coast for the Diamond Devil Classic hosted by Arizona State. The Sun Devils are two years removed from winning the National Championship, and also made a return trip to the College World Series last year. Along with ASU, Pitt will face New Mexico State and UC Davis. That tournament is scheduled for March 8-10.
The Panthers fifth and final preseason tournament comes in Fairfax, Va. at the Cherry Blossom Classic hosted by George Mason. Pitt plays the host Colonials, along with Ohio State and Canisius the weekend of March 15-17.
Pitt welcomes St. Francis (Pa.) to Vartabedian Field for its first home game on March 19, followed by opening Big East competition as Pitt plays host to St. John’s for three contests the weekend of March 23-24.
After a series at DePaul at the end of March and two games on April 3 at Robert Morris in Moon Township, Pa., the Panthers will host 2012 College World Series participant and Big East foe USF April 6-7. The Panthers will then step out of conference to host instate rival Penn State on April 10 for two games.
Pitt’s final home stand will come at the end of April and in the beginning of May when the Panthers welcome Notre Dame for three games, then Providence for two. The Panthers conclude the regular season at Rutgers on May 4-5.
The top eight teams in the Big East standing will travel to Tampa, Fla. for the conference tournament to be held May 9-11.
The Panthers return eight players from last year’s roster, and have added eight new players for the 2013 campaign.