SFA Softball Announces 2009 Schedule
Jan. 6, 2009
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A year after leading the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack softball program to its first NCAA Championships appearance as a Division I program, second-year head coach Gay McNutt has upped the ante for her squad. The Ladyjacks' 2009 schedule, announced Tuesday, includes 11 non-conference opponents who finished last season with a top-100 RPI and seven NCAA Tournament qualifiers.
SFA will open the season on Feb. 6, when it begins play in the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. All four participants -- SFA, Iowa, Florida State and host team Texas -- were NCAA Tournament teams a year ago. SFA's three opponents in the event all boast 2008 RPIs between 30 and 39.
The Ladyjacks follow that three-day tournament with their home opener, a doubleheader against Louisiana-Monroe on Feb. 11. Afterward, SFA will get a non-conference preview of a pair of Southland Conference foes when it plays in the Baylor Getterman Classic. In addition to Baylor, the three-day event features UTSA, Northwestern State, Ole Miss and New Mexico. The Getterman Classic begins on Feb. 13.
The Ladyjacks will head to Norman, Okla., on Feb. 18 to take on 2008 NCAA Super Regional qualifier Oklahoma in a doubleheader, then begin SLC play with six straight road games. SFA opens league play on Feb. 24 with a three-game set at Sam Houston State. The Ladyjacks will follow that with a trio of contests at Northwestern State beginning on Feb. 28, before returning briefly to non-conference action.
After a March 4 doubleheader at North Texas, SFA begins play in the Texas A&M Aggie Invitational on March 6. The tournament includes Utah, a top-100 RPI team from a year ago, as well as 2008 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Kent State and Louisiana Tech. Host team Texas A&M reached the finals of the 2008 Women's College World Series and posted a 57-10 record last season.
The Ladyjacks resume SLC play on March 14 with the start of a three-game home stand against McNeese State. Non-conference match-ups down the stretch include home dates with Jackson State, Louisiana Tech and Centenary College.
SFA concludes the 2009 regular season at home with a three-game series against UTSA beginning on May 2. The 2009 Southland Conference Championships are scheduled for May 8-10 in Lake Charles, La.
The Ladyjacks are coming off an impressive 2008 campaign. SFA went 36-25 last season, marking the program's first winning season since 2000 and posting the program's third-best win total since joining the Southland Conference. The Ladyjacks also reached the SLC Tournament for the first time since 1990 and went on a three-game tear to win the tourney title from the No. 4 seed position, earning a berth in the NCAA Championships.
-- SFA --