LSU unveils softball schedule

Coming off the program’s third Women’s College World appearance, LSU softball coach Beth Torina announced the release of the team’s 2013 schedule Monday.

LSU will face at least one NCAA tournament participant during every week of the season. The schedule features 37 contests against 20 teams that qualified for last season’s NCAA tournament, highlighted by a three-game home series with defending national champion Alabama and super regional participant Missouri.

“The 2013 schedule is very exciting and has a great mix of teams from some of the strongest conferences in the country,” Torina said. “The nonconference portion will be a real test for us and will give our newcomers a great taste of what Division I softball is all about. I firmly believe that challenging our team all season long prepares us to be successful in the postseason and teaches us so much about ourselves.”

LSU will play host to back-to-back nonconference tournaments to start the season, including the Tiger Classic (Feb. 8-10) on opening weekend. The Tigers will meet North Carolina and Tulsa, a pair of NCAA tournament squads, in addition to Hampton and Purdue. Hampton is coached by Trena Peel, the 2002 SEC Player of the Year and former LSU All-American.

After a mid-week trip to Ole Miss (Feb. 13), the Tigers welcome Memphis, Nicholls State, North Dakota State and Virginia to Tiger Park for the Purple & Gold Challenge (Feb. 15-17).

LSU returns to the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., for the third time in the past six seasons. The Tigers will take on Pac-12 powers Arizona and UCLA in addition to BYU, Ohio State and UNLV.

LSU is scheduled to face WCWS participant Oregon, along with Louisville, Michigan, Penn State and Syracuse at the Citrus Classic.

The Southeastern Conference schedule consists of eight three-game series. The new 24-game format was released last March and eliminated the league’s mid-week doubleheaders.

LSU will travel to Mississippi State (March 8-10) before welcoming Kentucky (March 15-17) and South Carolina (March 22-24) to Tiger Park.

The Tigers also host to Missouri and Alabama, along with trips to Arkansas and Texas A&M. The eight-team SEC tournament will be held at Kentucky.

2013 LSU SOFTBALL SCHEDULE

February

8, *North Carolina, 4:30 p.m.; *Purdue, 7 p.m. 9, *Tulsa, 5 p.m.; *Hampton, 7:30 p.m. 10, *North Carolina, noon. 13, at Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m. 15, ^North Dakota State, 4:30 p.m.; ^Virginia, 7 p.m. 16, ^Virginia, 5 p.m. 16, ^Memphis, 7:30 p.m. 17, ^Nicholls State, 3 p.m. 21, #vs. BYU, noon; #vs. USSSA Florida Pride (Exhibition), 2:30 p.m. 22, #vs. Ohio State, 5 p.m.; #vs. UNLV, 7:30 p.m. 23, #vs. Arizona, 7 p.m. 24, #vs. UCLA, 11 a.m.

March

1-3 , !vs. Louisville, TBA; !vs. Michigan, TBA; !vs. Oregon, TBA; !vs. Penn State, TBA; !vs. Syracuse, TBA. 8, at Mississippi State, TBA. 9, at Mississippi State, TBA. 10, at Mississippi State, TBA. 13, Nicholls State, 6 p.m. 15, Kentucky, 6 p.m. 16, Kentucky, 6 p.m. 17, Kentucky, 1 p.m. 19, Georgia Southern (DH), 5 p.m. 22, South Carolina, 6 p.m. 23 , South Carolina, 4 p.m. 24, South Carolina, 1 p.m. 26, Southeastern Louisiana, 6 p.m. 27, at South Alabama, 7 p.m. 30, Samford (DH), 1 p.m.

April

3, at Florida State (DH), TBA. 5, at Arkansas, TBA. 6, at Arkansas, TBA. 7, at Arkansas, TBA. 12, at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. 13, at Texas A&M, 4 p.m. 14, at Texas A&M, noon. 17, at McNeese State, 6 p.m. 19, Missouri, 6 p.m. 20, Missouri, 6 p.m. 21, Missouri, 1 p.m. 24, Northwestern State, 6 p.m. 26, Alabama, 6 p.m. 27, Alabama, 4 p.m. 28, Alabama, 1 p.m.

May

3, at Georgia, TBA. 4, at Georgia , TBA. 5, at Georgia, TBA. 9-11, SEC tournament, TBA. 16-19, NCAA Regionals, TBA. 23-26, NCAA Super Regionals, TBA. May 30-June 5, Women’s College World Series, TBA

All times are Central and subject to change

* — Tiger Classic; ^ — Purple & Gold Challenge; # — Cathedral City Classic; ! — Citrus Classic