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DAVIS, Calif. - Starting with its season-opening doubleheader at Santa Clara, on Feb. 11, UC Davis' upcoming 54-game schedule includes five tournaments -- a total that includes two that will take place on campus -- 25 home games and matchups against 11 teams that advanced to the 2016 NCAA Tournament, as announced by head coach Erin Thorpe on Tuesday.
Four days after their season opener, the Aggies will host their first game of the 2017 season when Stanford visits La Rue Field (Feb. 15) in the first of two Farm vs. Farm games. On March 8, the Cardinal will host the series finale.
The first of five spring tournaments includes a trip to Palm Springs to compete in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic -- a softball showcase that always includes numerous nationally ranked teams and the top programs in the country.
After they face Kentucky (Feb. 17), one of three Classic opponents that advanced to last year's playoffs, the Aggies will return to action later that day against Liberty. Day two includes matchups against another two playoff teams in Illinois and UCLA (Feb. 18), teams that advanced to Regionals and the opening round of the Women's College World Series respectively.
The Aggies' stay in Palm Springs will conclude on Feb. 19 vs. Utah Valley.
The first of two Causeway Cup contests will take place in Sacramento on Feb. 21 with the return game set for the following week in Davis (March 1). Including last year's results, which saw each team win on its home diamond, Sacramento State and UC Davis split their last 10 head-to-head games.
Taking place between those rivalry games is the Bulldog Classic, hosted by Fresno State. Following its tournament opener vs. Idaho State (Feb. 24), the following four games will take place against additional 2016 postseason teams in Minnesota (Feb. 24 & 25) and the host school (Feb. 25 & 26).
UC Davis' final road tournament will take place at the San Diego Classic, co-hosted by San Diego and San Diego State. Defending Southland Conference champion McNeese State and Oregon State (March 3), the third of four Pac-12 opponents on this year's slate, are the first two teams the Aggies will face. Additional games against Detroit Mercy and San Diego are scheduled for the following day.
Softball will cross paths with a familiar face in its weekend finale at San Diego State; after assisting Coach Thorpe last season, current Aztec assistant Christina Byrne, and her new team, will square off against the Aggies on March 5.
Games at USD and SDSU will take place on their respective diamonds; when announced by tournament officials, UCDavisAggies.com will provide the locations for softball's three neutral-site contests.
As the host of the Aggie Invitational I and II, the final tournaments of its season, UC Davis will compete at home in 12 consecutive games leading up to the team's inaugural Big West series at Hawai'i (March 31-April 1).
Featured at the Aggie Invitational I are games against San José State (March 9 & 10), Seton Hall (March 9 & 11), UMass (March 10) and Iowa State (March 12); visiting La Rue Field the following week to compete in the Aggie Invitational II are Bryant (March 16), Saint Mary's (March 17 & 18), North Dakota (March 17) and Princeton (March 18 & 19).
For the first time in four years, Cal (April 26), another 2016 postseason participant from the Pac-12, will visit Davis in the Aggies' final non-conference contest of the season.
In addition to its first three games against the Rainbow Wahine, UC Davis will end a six-game Big West road swing at Long Beach State (April 8-9), a league foe that earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Regionals last year.
UC Riverside (April 22-23) and UC Santa Barbara (May 5-6) are the sites of the Aggies' other two conference road series.
Starting with its Easter weekend series against defending Big West champion Cal State Fullerton (April 14-15), UC Davis' home schedule also includes contests vs. Cal Poly (Apr. 29-30) and CSUN (May 12-13).