FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU head softball coach David Deiros unveiled the Eagles’ 2013 schedule this past week. The Green and Blue will play in four spring tournaments and face four opponents who qualified for the 2012 NCAA Tournament, as well as a game with 2012 Women’s College World Series (WCWS) champion Alabama, highlight the 2013 lineup.
The Eagles’ competitive 2013 schedule features six teams from BCS conferences that include Big East (Villanova), Big 10 (Michigan State, Minnesota), Big 12 (Iowa State), SEC (Alabama) and Pac-12 (Stanford). The 2013 slate also features 14 teams that landed in the top 100 RPI last season.
The Green and Blue will open up the 2013 season on the road for a doubleheader against FIU in Miami, Fla. on Feb. 13. FGCU will return to Fort Myers to open their home schedule with its first of two scheduled tournaments for 2013. The Eagles will open with Wichita State (Feb. 15) and #1 nationally ranked Alabama (Feb. 15), before facing Appalachian State (Feb. 16), Southern Illinois (Feb. 16) and Georgia Southern (Feb. 17) the final two days. This marks the first time FGCU has faced a defending National Champion and a preseason #1. The Eagles did face Arizona State twice in 2011 and the Sun Devils went on that year to win the National Championship.
FGCU will then host their second tournament the following weekend and will open with Minnesota (Feb. 22) on Friday night. The Green and Blue will face Villanova (Feb. 23), Albany (Feb. 23), Michigan State (Feb. 24), and St. Bonaventure (Feb. 24) the following two days.
The Eagles will hit the road the following week to play in the Under Armour Showcase hosted by USF at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. FGCU will play in five games from Mar. 1-3 and will take on Western Michigan (Mar. 1), Loyola (Chi.) (Mar. 1), Kent State (Mar. 2), Providence (Mar. 2) and Maine (Mar. 3) during the three-day span.
The Green and Blue will travel cross-country to the west coast to participate in the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic hosted by Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. In a three-day span, the Eagles will face both Pacific (Mar. 8, Mar. 9) and Stanford (Mar. 8, Mar. 9) twice and finish up with a rematch against Minnesota (Mar. 10).
FGCU will return home Mar. 13 to face Maine and Valparaiso. Three days later, the Eagles will welcome conference opponent Stetson, for a three game series, starting on Mar. 16, to open up Atlantic Sun action.
The Green and Blue will finish their home stand at the FGCU Softball Complex by hosting Iowa State (Mar. 19) and end with a doubleheader against Dartmouth (Mar. 21). The game against Dartmouth will be the team's "Think Pink" game to promote breast cancer awareness.
The Eagles’ first road conference matchup will be in Johnson City, Tenn. when they face ETSU for a three game series starting Saturday, Mar. 23 with a doubleheader and finishing with a single game Sunday, Mar. 24.
FGCU returns home Mar. 29 to host a three-game series against Lipscomb, which starts Saturday with a doubleheader and finishes with a single game on Sunday.
The Green and Blue hit the road for two consecutive A-Sun three-game series against Mercer (Apr. 6) and Kennesaw State (April 9).
The Eagles continue their A-Sun schedule at home with three-straight homestands against Jacksonville (Apr. 13), USC Upstate (Apr. 20) and Northern Kentucky (Apr. 27).
FGCU closes its regular season on the road when it plays in-state rival UNF for the fifth consecutive year. The Eagles will play the Osprey in a three-game series starting on May 3.
The 2013 squad features a class of six newcomers and welcomes back 14 players from a team that finished first in the conference with a 14-4 record, while holding a 38-24 overall record. Among the returners are NFCA All-South Region Second Team and All-Conference First Team honorees, sophomore Shelby Morgan (High Spring, Fla./Sante Fe HS) and junior Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS). The Eagles also return All-Conference First Team member, senior Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) and second team members, juniors Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) and Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS).