Head coach Kerri Blaylock
Oct. 5, 2012
By Bill Ford
CARBONDALE, Ill.— Fresh off the finish of its fall season, the Southern Illinois softball team announced its 2013 schedule Friday.
Southern’s non-conference slate features games against 10 teams that made NCAA Regionals last season, including Women’s College World Series participants South Florida and 2012 national champion Alabama.
“We are very happy with the tournaments that we have chosen this year and the type of competition that we will be playing,” said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. “We are able to play the defending national champions as well as several mid majors that are regularly in the NCAA tournament. We hope our preseason schedule will prepare us for a tough MVC slate.”
The Salukis begin 2013 with three consecutive weekend tournaments in the state of Florida. Southern opens the season at the Dot Richardson National Collegiate Softball Invitational February 8-10 in Clermont, Fla., where Southern will face Chattanooga, Virginia Tech, Fordham and LIU Brooklyn.
SIU next travels to Fort Myers, Fla., February 15-17 for the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament. The Salukis will face the host Owls along with Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and the defending national champion Crimson Tide.
Southern makes its final trip to the sunshine state February 22-24 for the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla., where the Salukis will face four 2012 NCAA Regionals participants in South Florida, Central Florida, Massachusetts and Hofstra along with UC Davis.
The Salukis will play 13 of their next 14 games in Carbondale, starting with back-to-back home tournaments. Southern Welcomes Western Illinois, Butler and Northern Illinois to Charlotte West Stadium March 2-3 for the Coach B Classic before hosting Wisconsin, Eastern Kentucky, Illinois-Chicago and Belmont for the Saluki Invitational March 9-10.
The Salukis play non-conference games against SIU Edwardsville at home April 2 and at Eastern Illinois April 4 before hosting Wichita State April 6-7. SIU plays at UT Martin April 10 before coming back to Carbondale to face Missouri State April 13-14.
Southern Plays its next five on the road April 17 at Evansville and April 20-21 at Creighton before coming back for a home game against Evansville April 23. The Salukis travel to SEMO April 7 before coming back to host Bradley April 27-28 and Illinois May 1.
SIU closes the regular season May 4-5 at Indiana State. The 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament will be held May 9-11 in Omaha, Neb.