Dec. 13, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. – Games against 10 teams that competed in last season’s NCAA Tournament, including one super regional and two Women’s College World Series participants, six tournaments and 17 home games highlight UC Davis’ 2014 schedule as announced by head coach Karen Yoder.
"Our entire program cannot wait for the 2014 season to start," said Yoder.
The 2014 season will open at the UNLV Sportco Kick-Off Classic on Feb. 7, when the Aggies face Arkansas, one of 10 teams that competed in last season’s NCAA playoffs and one of three featured throughout their weekend schedule.
After ending its first day of competition against tournament host UNLV, UC Davis will return to the diamond the following day to battle San Diego and Baylor (Feb. 8). The Aggies will conclude their stay in Las Vegas against Washington (Feb. 9)–one of six games against Pac-12 opponents throughout their 33-game non-conference schedule.
Last season, Baylor advanced to the regionals for the third straight year; Washington was one of eight teams to punch its ticket to Oklahoma City, site of the annual Women’s College World Series (WCWS).
In 2013, La Rue Field only hosted two home non-conference teams; two will take place in as many days when Pacific and Sacramento State travel to campus on Feb. 11 and Feb. 12.
After the Aggies’ brief two-game homestand, the team will return to the road and head to Southern California for another five-game tournament. Drawing UC Davis as an opponent at the Stacey Winsburg Memorial Tournament, in Los Angeles, are Western Kentucky (Feb. 14 and 15), Robert Morris (Feb. 15) and event host UCLA (Feb. 14 and 16).
After earning a 5-4, come-from-behind victory in last season’s matchup at La Rue Field, UC Davis will have an opportunity to capture its third straight home win in as many seasons against Stanford on Feb. 18. That game against the Cardinal, another UC Davis opponent that advanced to the regionals last year, is a prelude to yet another challenging tournament draw.
A trip to Palm Springs, Calif., awaits the Aggies following their non-conference tussle with the Cardinal as UC Davis is one of 35 that comprise the field for this year’s Mary Nutter Classic, one of the premier softball events in the nation that annually attracts top Division I programs.
Syracuse (Feb. 21) will serve as the Aggies’ first opponent; competition will increase dramatically as the event progresses with UC Davis slated to face Notre Dame (Feb. 21)–a NCAA participant that the Aggies defeated last year at the Diamond Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.–and UNLV (Feb. 22).
In the final day at the Mary Nutter Classic, UC Davis will test its mettle against Texas, another 2013 WCWS participant, and Oregon, winners of three consecutive regional titles and one of eight teams that advanced to the 2012 WCWS.
"The strength of our schedule proves we are challenging ourselves every week in preparation for Big West competition and a NCAA postseason berth," said Yoder.
After returning from its final non-conference trek to Southern California, the Aggies will remain local for their next eight games, a block of activity that includes four games at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational against Seattle University (March 1), Boston University (March 1 and 2) Santa Clara (March 2).
Another three games will take place at the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic the following week.
In that tournament, UC Davis will compete against North Dakota State and Portland State (Mar. 8) before ending its season series against Stanford the next day.
Sandwiched between those events is the final scheduled Causeway Cup contest involving UC Davis and rival Sacramento State (March 4).
In their final non-conference tournament of 2014, the Aggies will play two games against North Dakota (March 15 and 16) and Nevada (March 15 and 16) at the Wolf Pack Classic.
A home doubleheader, against Saint Mary’s (March 26), will serve as UC Davis’ final tune-up prior to league play; a season-long five-game homestand will end with the Aggies’ inaugural Big West series of the season against Long Beach State (March 29-30).
Scheduled for late April, UC Davis will head to Stockton to close out it non-conference schedule against former Big West counterpart, now-West Coast Conference member, Pacific (April 23).
Other conference teams making an appearance at La Rue Field in 2014 include UC Santa Barbara (April 18-19), UC Riverside (April 26-27) and defending league champion Hawai’i (May 9-10).
After hosting Long Beach State, UC Davis will travel on back-to-back weekends to Cal State Northridge (April 5-6) and Cal Poly (April 12-13). For their final Big West road trip, the Aggies will visit Cal State Fullerton (May 3-4) before ending their regular season once again at La Rue Field.
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