Blue Hens To Face National Powers as Delaware Softball Announces Challenging 2017 Schedule
• 2017 Schedule
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware softball team will face a number of national powers as Blue Hen head coach John Seneca announced Delaware’s challenging 2017 schedule on Monday.
The Blue Hens, who posted a 30-21 record in 2016 and won a game in the CAA Tournament, will take on five schools that participated in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including three that advanced to the Super Regionals and one that competed in the Women’s College World Series.
Delaware’s toughest schedule in school history begins on Friday, Feb. 10 at the USF Tournament in Tampa, Fla. against Michigan, which finished No. 2 in last year’s final USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll before advancing to the WCWS. Following a game against Illinois State later that day, the Blue Hens will take on Florida and USF on Feb. 11. The Gators held the No. 1 spot in the final Coaches Poll and advanced to the Super Regionals, while the host Bulls ranked 24th and competed in the NCAA Tournament.
UD, which wraps up the tournament on Feb. 12 against St. John’s, returns to Florida the following weekend to face Marshall, Stetson, Providence, George Washington and Bethune-Cookman at the Diamond 9 Tournament in Orlando on Feb. 17-19.
After a weekend off, the Blue Hens head to the home of another national contender by playing four games at the Tennessee Invitational on Mar. 3-5 in Knoxville. The Volunteers, a seven-time WCWS participant, finished No. 11 in last year’s final Coaches Poll and hosted an NCAA Regional. UD opens the tournament with a game vs. Southeastern Louisiana on Mar. 3, takes on Ohio University the following day, and faces Bradley and Tennessee on Mar. 5.
Delaware again heads south the following weekend for five games at the UNCG Spartan Classic in Greensboro, N.C. on Mar. 10-12, before opening its home schedule with a doubleheader against Villanova on Mar. 15. UD then hosts the Blue Hen Invitational on Mar. 18-19, featuring a double round robin format with Rhode Island and Cornell.
Patriot League power Lehigh visits Newark for a twinbill on Mar. 22, before the homestand concludes on Mar. 25-26 as Delaware opens its CAA schedule against local rival Towson. Delaware will be looking to improve on its 9-9 conference record from a year ago, which was good enough to qualify the Blue Hens for the league tournament for the first time since 2013.
UD next heads to Drexel on Apr. 1-2 for a three-game conference series with the Dragons, before returning home to host Rider in a non-league doubleheader on Apr. 5. Following a CAA set at Hofstra on Apr. 8-9, the Blue Hens host Saint Joseph’s in a twinbill on Apr. 11 before welcoming defending league champion James Madison to Newark on Apr. 14-15. The Dukes went undefeated in the CAA a year ago, finishing No. 8 in the Coaches Poll and hosting a Super Regional.
Delaware will then play 10 consecutive road games including a three-game series at Charleston on Apr. 22-23, a doubleheader at Delaware State on Apr. 26, a three-game set at Elon on Apr. 29-30, and a twinbill at Monmouth on May 3. The regular season concludes with a three-game home series against UNCW on May 5-6.
The five-team CAA Tournament will again be hosted by James Madison at Veterans Memorial Park in Harrisonburg, Va. on May 9-12.
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