Softball Releases 2018 Schedule
Slate Features Four Tournament Teams, Defending National Champions
DENTON – The North Texas softball team released its 56-game schedule for the 2018 season on Wednesday. The slate is highlighted by a March 21 home game against the 2017 Women’s College World Series National Champion, Oklahoma.
The Sooners, who have won three WCWS titles in the last five years, are one of four opponents on the Mean Green's schedule who were NCAA tournament teams a year ago: Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma and Tulsa.
“We feel this schedule will allow our squad to develop as the season progresses,” North Texas head coach Tracey Kee said. “Twelve of our 17 student-athletes are underclassmen, so getting experience and acclimated to competing will take time. I feel our upperclassmen experience and leadership will guide this squad along.”
The Mean Green will host Tulsa, the 2017 American Athletic Conference champion, in the North Texas Invitational on March 2. North Texas will travel to Waco for a game against Baylor on March 20, and will return home to take on Oklahoma on March 21. During the ensuing weekend, Louisiana Tech will travel to Denton for a three-game series from March 24-25.
“There are stretches in this schedule that will challenge us to compete at the highest level, but I have no doubt our kids will embrace it,” Kee said.
After playing just 22 games at home in 2017, North Texas is scheduled to play 30 of its 56 games at Lovelace Stadium in 2018. The Mean Green look to build on last year's 13-7 mark at home. The team will host two tournaments, the Schutt Invitational from Feb. 23-25, and the North Texas Invitational from March 2-4.
“Having the opportunity to play more home games this season will allow our players to showcase their skills and this program’s direction for all our fans,” Kee said. “The discipline and excitement this team has displayed since starting practice has been very contagious. They are excited to represent the school and our entire Mean Green family."
North Texas begins the 2018 campaign at the Mardi Gras Classic, hosted by Louisiana-Monroe from Feb. 9-11. Prairie View, Grambling, UT Martin and Chattanooga will compete in the field. Conference USA play begins on Saturday, March 10, with a three-game home series versus Charlotte.
The C-USA tournament will be hosted by the 49ers May 9-12.
The Mean Green return 10 players from last year’s squad, and seven newcomers fill out the 2018 roster. North Texas will play for the first time since 2014 without Kelli Schkade, a two-time First Team All-Conference USA selection and the school leader in stolen bases (50).