STORRS, Conn. – The UConn softball team and head coach Jen McIntyre announced the 56-game schedule for the 2018 season on Monday morning, releasing a slate that includes six non-conference tournaments and 15 games at Burrill Family Field.
The Huskies will open the season in the Jacksonville Softball Tournament on Feb. 9, with their first home game scheduled for March 29 against Wichita State – the newest member of the American Athletic Conference.
Early in the season, trips to Oklahoma City, Okla. and College Station, Texas highlight the 29-game tournament schedule. UConn will play 10 games against seven teams that qualified for the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
“We’re looking forward to a very challenging slate in the 2018 season. We have a tough road ahead of us, but it’s something that will prepare us for the conference season,” said McIntyre.
Five opponents on the schedule won conference championships a year ago, while six finished the season ranked in the RPI Top 50. Texas A&M, a 2017 Women’s College World Series participant, will play the Huskies on March 16 and 17.
“We’ll have an opportunity to play Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Florida Gulf Coast, Coastal Carolina – so we’re looking forward to a tough preseason that will get us ready for USF on March 23,” said McIntyre. “We will face some great pitchers and get our hitters some live looks.”
The Huskies open with a doubleheader on Feb. 9 against Army and Jacksonville, playing five games over a three-day tournament in northern Florida. The Coastal Carolina Invitational (Feb. 17-18) and FGCU Softball Tournament (Feb. 23-25) follow in the weeks after.
From March 2-4, UConn receives tough challenges in the I-75 Challenge – playing doubleheaders against Georgia State (Mar. 2) and Georgia Tech (Mar. 3). A game against Kennesaw State, ranked No. 46 in the RPI last season, completes the trip on March 4.
UConn participates in the Oklahoma State Hall of Fame Classic from March 9-13, facing Drake, Pacific, Oklahoma State, Purdue, St. Francis (PA) and North Texas. Oklahoma City will be the site of the 2018 WCWS.
A trip to College Station awaits the following weekend, with games against Texas A&M and Marist on March 16-17. The Huskies are 0-4 all-time against the Aggies.
Conference play begins on March 23 with a three-game series at USF, before a home series against Wichita State from March 29-31 in Storrs.
“The addition of Wichita State continues to boost the RPI of our conference. They are a tough team. They are joining a tough conference and we’re looking forward to the changes ahead,” said McIntyre.
A non-conference game at Boston College on April 11 falls between home series against UCF (April 6-8) and ECU (April 13-15). Beginning on March 29, the Huskies are scheduled to play 12 of their next 13 games at home.
UConn faces Memphis on the road from April 20-22, before its final home series against Houston from April 27-29. Three games against reigning AAC champion Tulsa from May 4-6 finish the regular season.
The American Athletic Conference Championship will be played in Tampa, Fla. at the USF Softball Stadium, beginning on May 10.