Softball Releases 2008 Slate
Oct. 11, 2007
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Seven NCAA regional participants from last season and the program's first-ever trip to California constitute the East Carolina softball team's 2008 schedule, released by head coach Tracey Kee Thursday. The Pirates host three regular-season tournaments at the ECU Softball Field as the squad will play no less than 26 contests in Greenville. NCAA regional qualifiers North Carolina, Penn State, BYU, Georgia, Stanford, Virginia Tech and defending Conference USA champion Houston help make the schedule the toughest in school history, according to Kee. However, she also believes that her team is willing and ready to cope with its challenges.
"This game schedule will indeed test us early and often, Kee stated. "Toss in the parity in C-USA and I have no doubt this is the toughest spring we are about to embark on. Our student-athletes have committed themselves this fall to build upon their strength, speed, and softball skills. They are a very driven group, and have met every challenge placed before them head on. With our blend of youth and experience, we hope our hard work will directly result in success on the field."
ECU will open at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill for the second-consecutive season as it squares off against North Carolina, North Carolina Central, Kent State and George Washington on Feb. 8-10. The Pirates seek their first win against the Tar Heels since taking an exciting extra-inning affair in Greenville two years ago.
The home portion of the schedule will commence Feb. 15-17 with the first of three tournaments at the ECU Softball Field as the Pirates will take on Boston College, Maine and Ohio in the Pirate Invitational. The Eagles are one of three ACC teams that East Carolina will face this season. ECU remains at home the following weekend as it hosts the Pirate Classic. The tournament features opponents from the Big East and Big Ten in Syracuse, Penn State and Purdue.
The Pirates usher in March the next weekend with their third-consecutive home tournament as Radford, Liberty, Fordham and Delaware travel to Greenville for the Pirate Clash. Then, after opening conference play in Orlando against UCF, ECU heads to Georgia for the Bulldog Classic where the Pirates will contend with Georgia and North Florida. East Carolina revisits its home field March 15-16, welcoming Southern Miss for a conference series before making the longest trek in program history as the Pirates participate in the Stanford Invitational. The field consists of the Cardinal, BYU, Princeton and Wisconsin.
The remainder of the conference schedule features road series against Tulsa, Houston and Memphis while Marshall, UTEP and UAB will make the trip to Greenville.
In addition to its conference contests, ECU plays a number of mid-week doubleheaders both on the road against North Carolina, UNC Greensboro and Virginia Tech and at home versus UNC Wilmington and Campbell.
The 2008 C-USA Softball Championship takes place May 8-10 at the Cougar Softball Stadium in Houston. The top six teams in the standings qualify for the double-elimination tournament and the winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.