Softball Announces 2006 Schedule
Nov. 15, 2005
GREENVILLE, N.C. --- The 2006 East Carolina softball schedule includes three home tournaments, highlighted by a visit from 2005 Women's College World Series participant and sixth-ranked Cal, and its first-ever home night game against NC State on Feb. 21 head coach Tracey Kee has announced.
"We will be tested and challenged early and often," said Kee. "Our first four games in the season are on the road and against: Purdue, Pittsburgh, Florida Atlantic, and Bethune-Cookman. We are a young, but energized squad. Our kids have shown a great commitment to their training this fall which will pay big dividends come February."
The Lady Pirates open the season against 18th-ranked Bethune-Cookman at the FAU Worth Invitational in Boca Raton, Fla., followed by games with FAU, Purdue and Pittsburgh before returning home to host the Holiday Inn Express Pirate Classic the following weekend.
Among those teams participating in the Hampton Inn Pirate Classic include BIG EAST conference foe Seton Hall and Big Ten conference opponent Michigan State. After its doubleheader date with the Wolfpack on Feb. 21, ECU travels to Charleston, S.C. to participate in the Cougar Classic before returning home to host the Pirate Clash during the first weekend of March. ECU then hosts North Carolina before opening Conference USA play at Houston the next weekend.
ECU then heads north for a doubleheader against Delaware and then returns home for a doubleheader with Sacred Heart and a three-game C-USA series with UAB.
The Pirate Invitational, which features Cal and NCAA Tournament participant Penn State, will commence on April 24 with ECU facing Coastal Carolina and the Cal on Friday and then taking on Penn State and Kent State on Saturday.
A total of seven 2005 NCAA Tournament participants appear on this season's schedule.
"These are exciting times for our program," Kee stated. "To be able to host Cal is a challenge we are honored to have. Filling our three home tournaments with teams like Seton Hall, Michigan State, Penn State, and Bethune-Cookman will give our team strong competition before we embark on our C-USA schedule. Compliment that with trips from NC State and UNC, and I believe our fans will have lots to look forward to."
East Carolina will then hosts its second of four Conference USA opponents on April 1 and 2 as Marshall visits Greenville. UTEP and Southern Miss will also visit the campus later in the season.
In addition to its C-USA opening series at Houston, ECU will also make treks to Tulsa and Memphis before closing out the regular season at UCF.
Between its conference series with Marshall and Tulsa, ECU will travel to Campbell for a doubleheader, while hosting UNC Wilmington. The Lady Pirates will conclude non-conference play with a single game at North Carolina on April 12. The Conference USA Tournament will be held at the University of Tulsa, May 11-13.
East Carolina finished the 2005 season with 55 wins, tied for fourth most in the nation and recorded its highest Conference USA finish during its four-year league membership, third. ECU had seven players earn all-conference honors and Kee was named 2005 C-USA Coach-of-the-Year. ECU returns 12 letterwinners from last year's team including all-conference performers' catcher Krista Jessup and pitcher Keli Harrell.