COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Head Coach Jo Evans and the Texas A&M softball team announced today a 2014 slate that includes 29 home contests and four Southeastern Conference matchups at the Aggie Softball Complex.
In their second year in the conference, the Aggies will host SEC teams Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. Texas A&M will also host two tournaments at the beginning of the season, and will travel to UC Santa Barbara’s tournament and the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
The Aggies ended the 2013 season as the No. 16 national seed at the NCAA Norman Super Regional, and will play 17 teams who also competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Of that group, five teams were national seeds and three advanced to the Women’s College World Series – with Tennessee ending the year as the national runner-up.
Texas A&M kicks off the 2014 season at the UC Santa Barbara Tournament, Feb. 7-9, where the team will play five games. The schedule for the UCSB Tournament is still in the works, and the Aggies will be joining Dayton, Cal State Bakersfield and UCSB in the lineup.
The Aggies will host two tournaments of their own this season – welcoming Oregon State, McNeese State and Tulsa for the Aggie Classic, Feb. 14-16, and bringing in Wisconsin, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Connecticut for the Texas A&M Invitational, Feb. 28-March 2. Oregon State, Wisconsin and Tulsa each competed in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
Facing five consecutive NCAA Tournament teams, Texas A&M spends the third weekend of the 2014 season in Cathedral City, Calif., at the Mary Nutter Classic. The Aggies will play Arizona, San Diego State, California, Nebraska and Fordham. SDSU is the reigning Mountain West Champion, and Fordham won the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2013 to reach the field of 64. Nebraska was the No. 14 national seed and ended its season in the WCWS.
On their way to conference action, the Aggies will play midweek games against Sam Houston State (Feb. 12, Feb. 18), Houston (Feb. 26), and Texas State (March 5). Only the Feb. 18 game vs. the Bearkats will be played in College Station.
Southeastern Conference competition begins March 7-9 when the Aggies host Missouri in a three-game series. The Tigers were the No. 6 seed in last season’s NCAA Tournament and the team advanced to the Super Regional level. The 2013 series with Mizzou was cut short due to snow, but the Aggies won the second game in an 11-3 run-rule.
For the first time since 1995, the Aggies will travel to Columbia, S.C. to face the Gamecocks March 14-16. This will also be the first meeting between Texas A&M and South Carolina since 2003, and the first-ever meeting between the schools as conference opponents. USC ended the 2013 season in NCAA Region.
A single game against NCAA Tournament contender Northwestern State on March 18 will bring the team back to Aggieland before a March 21-23 SEC series vs. Georgia at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Aggies dropped three games at Georgia in 2013, and this is the first trip to College Station for the Bulldogs.
A&M will hit the road for two weeks after the Georgia series to play three at Arkansas, March 28-30, and at Kentucky, April 4-6. The Aggies have never played in Fayetteville, and are meeting the Wildcats for the first time ever, though they played a game on UK’s new field at the SEC Tournament in May. Georgia, Arkansas and Kentucky were all 2013 NCAA Tournament competitors, and the 12th-seeded Wildcats advanced to Super Region.
On April 11 Texas A&M returns home to host Tennessee and Florida, both 2013 WCWS competitors, in three-game SEC series. The Aggies and Lady Vols will play April 11-13, and the Gators will step up to the plate April 18-20. UT was the national runner-up, and Florida is the reigning SEC Tournament and Regular Season Champion.
Texas A&M-CC returns to the Aggie Softball Complex for a single game on April 22 before the Aggies hit the road for their final SEC road series of the season, taking on Auburn in Auburn, Ala., April 25-27.
The Aggies will end the regular season with an April 30 doubleheader against Lamar, and a pair of games against former Big 12 foe Oklahoma State, May 2-3, in College Station.
The 2014 SEC Tournament is set for May 6-10 in Columbia, S.C. The NCAA Tournament will begin May 15 with the Regional round, followed by Super Region May 22-25 and the WCWS May 27-June 4.
For a complete schedule and to learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.