FGCU Softball Announces 2006 Schedule
FORT MYERS – Florida Gulf Coast University softball head coach Dave Deiros announced the 2006 softball schedule on Wednesday.
The Eagles will play 61 games this season, 37 of which are against NCAA Division II opponents, and will compete in four regular season tournaments. FGCU, which went 38-18 a year ago, will face five teams that earned bids to the NCAA Division II championship tournament.
There are eight NCAA tournament berths available in the South Region this year as opposed to the six last year. Three of those spots are guaranteed to conference champions from the Sunshine State, Gulf South, and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences.
“This will be the most difficult schedule we have ever played because of the quantity and quality of opponents”, said Deiros. “As was the case last season, it will take an exemplary performance against those opponents to become eligible for the post-season.
“Five at-large berths are available to us, as opposed to the three spots last year. I estimate that there are about 20 teams that have a legitimate chance of earning one of those five at-large spots—so we have to perform very well—especially early in the season when the majority of our schedule consists of regional games.”
FGCU will play 37 games at the FGCU Softball Complex, plus two spring tournaments. Highlights of the home schedule include defending national champion Lynn, as well as 2004 NCAA tournament participant Saint Leo and Sunshine State Conference contenders Barry, Rollins and Nova Southeastern. The Eagles will host a pair of Spring Break Invitational Tournaments that will feature a host of quality teams from the Northeast and Midwest regions that will provide a post-season atmosphere.
FGCU will be road warriors in the months of February and April. The Eagles will travel to tournaments at the University of West Georgia in February and Fort Valley State University in April. In addition, they have an eight-game road trip through Arkansas and Mississippi to pick up the necessary regional games.
In 2006, the Eagles return four starters and welcome a talented recruiting class of 14 newcomers.
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