Nov. 14, 2013
The University of North Texas today announced its 2014 softball schedule which features three home tournaments at Lovelace Stadium and one of the toughest non-conference slates in school history.
Under first-year head coach Tracey Kee, the Mean Green has 23 home dates in 2014 including the Lovelace Invitational, the Texas Shootout and the Best Western/Courtyard Classic. North Texas will also start play in Conference USA, beginning with a three-game road series against Middle Tennessee on March 8-9.
“I believe the 2014 schedule will test us early and often,” Kee said. “This squad is going to realize they are going to have to compete week in and week out, game after game until the middle of May. I have no doubt they will rise to the challenge because I’ve witnessed their consistent effort and competitiveness on a daily basis since my arrival in August.”
North Texas will face-off against 10 teams that competed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Three of those teams (Texas, UAB and Oklahoma) advanced to the Super Regionals with the Longhorns and Sooners moving on to the World Series. The Sooners went on to win the national championship and will host the Mean Green on March 26.
“I believe the North Texas softball program is on the cusp of doing wonderful things,” Kee said. “Being able to play a schedule of this caliber will only help us with those endeavors.”
North Texas opens its season at the University of Georgia’s Red and Black Showcase, which features two teams that saw postseason play a year ago: Georgia and James Madison. The Mean Green will be visiting the state of Georgia for the first time in program history.
North Texas returns to Denton for three consecutive home tournaments. The Mean Green will face Nicholls State, Southern University and Northern Iowa at the Lovelace Invitational on Feb. 14-16, and will open the Texas Shootout against Texas State and Abilene Christian on Feb. 20. The six-team, four-day tournament will run from Feb. 20-23. Wichita State and McNeese will compete against the Mean Green in the Best Western/Courtyard Classic on March 1-2.
The Mean Green schedule will also feature eight games against five Big XII opponents beginning with back-to-back home games against Texas and Oklahoma State on March 11-12. North Texas will play road games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor.
North Texas will see new faces in Conference USA, featuring home series against UTSA, UAB, Louisiana Tech and Tulsa. UAB and Tulsa both advanced to postseason play last year, when the Blaze advanced to the Super Regionals.
Thirteen teams will play eight 3-game series throughout the regular season, leading to the Conference USA Championships May 8-10, hosted by Florida Atlantic.The top eight teams in the regular season standings will qualify for the single-elimination tournament played on consecutive days.
North Texas returns 13 letterwinners, including five seniors and three all-conference players. The Mean Green finished the 2013 season with a 29-24 overall record.
Click here to view schedule