Radford University softball head coach, Hope Creasy, announced the 2018 softball schedule on Monday, which includes five NCAA Regional teams from 2017.
“I’m excited to announce our 2018 schedule,” Creasy said. “It is motivating as we continue to work and prepare for the competition that we will be facing in the spring. We will match up against teams from the ACC, SEC and the Sun Belt, just to name a few. There is a strong core group of returners that pair up greatly with a talented group of newcomers. It will be exciting to see what Highlander softball has to offer this coming season.”
The season begins with one of the five teams that made an appearance in an NCAA Regional, East Tennessee State (Feb. 9). This will kick off the Georgia Southern Tournament with Austin Peay (Feb. 9-10), Murray State (Feb. 10) and host Georgia Southern (Feb. 10). Following the tournament in Statesboro, Ga., the team will travel to Big South headquarter country, Charlotte, N.C., to compete in the Charlotte Tournament hosted by C-USA foe, Charlotte (Feb. 16). Dayton (Feb. 16&18) and UNC Wilmington (Feb. 17-18) will also be featured in the tournament.
Tournament play continues with Eastern Kentucky (Feb. 23), Drexel (Feb. 24) and Mercer (Feb. 23-24) in Macon, Ga., as part of the Mercer Tournament. The Highlanders will make their first appearance in the New River Valley on Feb. 28 traveling to Blacksburg, Va., to take on Virginia Tech. Radford will then face two 2017 NCAA Regional teams in the Georgia Tournament as Georgia (March 2) and Jacksonville State (March 2-3) were in the Tallahassee Regional a season ago. The tournament will conclude with back-to-back matchups against UNC Greensboro (March 3-4).
Radford will face their fourth NCAA Regional foe on the schedule in reigning SWAC champion Florida A&M (March 6), who competed in the Gainesville Regional last season. The Highlanders will remain in the Sunshine State to face North Florida (March 7) in Jacksonville, Fla. Two days later Radford will begin traveling north but make a stop in Savannah, Ga., to take on MEAC foe, Savannah State (March 9).
The Highlanders open up the home slate on March 14, with a doubleheader against Hampton and will take on their final NCAA Regional team in Longwood (March 17-18) in Farmville, Va., to open up Big South play. The Lancers made it to the regional final of the Knoxville Regional, but were eliminated by host Tennessee. Then Auburn Regional participant, ETSU, will make a trip to Radford Softball Stadium for a doubleheader on March 21. The home slate continues with a Big South series against Gardner-Webb (March 24-25) and the month of March will conclude with a trip to Rock Hill, S.C., against Winthrop (March 30-31).
April features 16 games with seven being played at Radford Softball Stadium. However, the first four are on the road as the Highlanders travel to Charlottesville, Va., to take on ACC opponent, Virginia. Radford hosted the Cavaliers last season on won, 5-2. The Big South play will continue at Biues Creek, N.C., against Campbell (April 6-7). The Highlanders then have four straight at home on April 11, as Virginia Tech makes the return trip and April 14-15 with in-state foe Liberty coming to town.
Radford wraps up non-conference play with road doubleheaders against Norfolk State (April 18) and Western Carolina (April 25). The Highlanders end play at home against Presbyterian (April 27-28), before ceasing the regular season at Charleston Southern (May 4-5).
The Big South Conference Tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 9 and end Saturday, May 12. Radford will host the tournament at the Radford Softball Complex.