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FGCU Softball Releases 2012 Schedule
FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU head softball coach David Deiros unveiled the Eagles’ 2012 schedule Monday afternoon. Six spring tournaments with visits by six opponents who qualified for the 2011 NCAA Tournament, as well as a game with 2011 Women’s College World Series (WCWS) runner-up Florida highlight the 2012 lineup.
The Eagles’ competitive 2012 schedule features nine teams from BCS conferences that include the BIG EAST (USF, Villanova, Georgetown and Rutgers), SEC (Florida), Pac-12 (Utah) and ACC (Maryland, Boston College and Florida State). The 2012 slate also features 12 teams that landed in the top 100 RPI last season.
“We look forward to playing a very exciting schedule this season,” said Deiros. “Our conference continues to prove itself as one of the best in the country. Our home slate is very competitive again with a couple of BCS conference opponents coming to Fort Myers. We play 2011 WCWS runner-up Florida so we will get an idea of how good our squad will be very early on.”
For the fourth straight year, FGCU opens its season on the road at the Best Western Tournament hosted by USF in Tampa, Fla. The Eagles play a five games from Feb. 10-12 and will face USF (Feb. 10), Florida (Feb. 10), Long Island (Feb. 11), Maine (Feb. 11) and Illinois State (Feb. 12) during the three-day span. Florida is coming off of its fourth consecutive WCWS appearance, while falling to Arizona State in the championship series in 2011.
The Green and Blue travel back to Fort Myers to open their home schedule with their first of two scheduled tournaments for 2012. The Eagles open with Tennessee-Martin (Feb. 17) and St. Louis (Feb. 17), before facing Delaware (Feb. 18), Boston College (Feb. 18) and Binghamton (Feb. 19) the final two days.
FGCU then heads to Orlando to participate in UCF’s tournament from Feb. 24-26 where tournament opponents have yet to be determined.
The Green and Blue will head back north to compete in USF’s Tournament at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. from March 2-4. The Eagles play five opponents in three days with Quinnipiac (Mar. 2) and Western Michigan (Mar. 2) to start the tourney. On the second day, FGCU faces the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State (Mar. 3) and Bowling Green (Mar. 3), before one final meeting with Big East member Villanova, who defeated FGCU 5-2 last season in Fort Myers.
FGCU welcomes Kennesaw State for a mid-week doubleheader on Mar. 7, to open up Atlantic Sun Conference play. The Owls finished the season with a 28-27 record and wrapped up the year at No. 93 in the RPI.
Two days later, the Green and Blue host their final home tournament of the season from Mar. 9-11. The Eagles face Big East foe Georgetown and Pac-12 member Utah on Mar. 9 at the FGCU Softball Complex. FGCU finishes the tournament with games against Colgate (Mar. 11) and Stony Brook (Mar. 11).
The Eagles continue their home stand at the FGCU Softball Complex by hosting a round robin event with Canisius and Northern Illinois. The two teams will play each other in the opening game before they each faces off against FGCU on March 13.
FGCU travels to its final tournament of the season when it participates in The Game tournament hosted by USF at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. from March 16-18. The Eagles open the tournament against BIG EAST foe Rutgers and Northern Colorado on Friday, March 16, before playing UNC Wilmington and Fairfield on Saturday. FGCU wraps up play in Clearwater against Atlantic 10 member UMass on Sunday, March 18.
Just three days later, the Green and Blue welcome 2011 NCAA tournament participant Maryland to the FGCU Softball Complex for a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 21. FGCU hosts Ivy League member Dartmouth on Mar. 22, who the Eagles defeated 6-2 last season in Fort Myers.
The Eagles head to Tallahassee, Fla. to play a doubleheader against FAMU on Mar. 28 and another doubleheader against ACC power Florida State on Mar. 29. The Seminoles made the NCAA tournament a year ago and finished No. 49 in the RPI.
FGCU continues their A-Sun schedule on the road with three straight road trips to Stetson (Mar. 31), Lipscomb (Apr. 6) and Belmont (Apr. 7).
The Green and Blue return home for two consecutive A-Sun series against Mercer (Apr. 14) and defending A-Sun Champion Jacksonville on April 17.
A pair of A-Sun road games will wrap up FGCU’s road schedule when they play ETSU (April 20) and USC Upstate (April 21). FGCU closes its season at home for the fourth consecutive year, playing host to in-state rival UNF on Thursday, May 3.
The 2012 squad features a class of eight newcomers and welcomes back 12 players from a team that finished 14-6 in the conference for third place, while holding a 31-25 overall record. Among the returners are sophomores Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS), Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon HS) and Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) who were named to the A-Sun All-Freshmen Team.