BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Head coach Amy Tudor and the WKU Softball program announced the squad’s upcoming 2017 schedule on Friday. The challenging slate not only features the defending national champions (Oklahoma), but seven teams in total that made appearances in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and put together a combined record of 17-13 in NCAA postseason contests.
WKU SB-2017 Schedule
In total, the Hilltoppers have 55 games on their slate including four regular season tournaments, 11 doubleheaders and eight series against C-USA opponents.
WKU Softball will take on at least 31 different teams in 2017 with the potential for more based on results during tournament play. Of the 31 squads, 16 sported winning records with 14 going for 30 or more wins last season.
WKU will open the spring on the road at the Bulldog Kickoff in Starkville, Mississippi, where the Red and White will get five games in the books. The following two weekends, WKU Softball will host both the Hilltopper Classic and Hilltopper Spring Fling to combine for nine home tilts. The first of the home games (February 18) is against the reigning MAC champion, Miami (OH), that picked up a win in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
Following two weekends in Bowling Green, the Hilltopper squad will head to Norman, Oklahoma, for five games in the Courtyard Marriott Tournament. WKU will get a crack at last season’s NCAA national champions, the host Sooners, a squad that put together a 57-8 record and won the Big 12 Championship a year ago. The final two tilts in Oklahoma are against opposition based on play in the tournament.
With all four early season tournaments in the books, the WKU sluggers will return to The Hill for a doubleheader with Bowling Green (March 8) to open a stretch that includes 13 games in 15 days.
Hitting the road again, WKU Softball will head to Middle Tennessee to open Conference USA action. With 12 teams across two divisions, the Hilltoppers will play all five teams from the East Division and three random teams from the West Division each in three-game series.
Following the three-game series at Middle Tennessee, WKU will head to Samford (40-20) and Jacksonville State (43-17), a pair of teams that put together 40-plus wins in 2016 and made NCAA Tournament appearances. That weekend (March 18), the Hilltoppers return home and host the defending C-USA champions in Florida Atlantic (51-9), a squad that did not lose a game on the road in 2016 (14-0).
A doubleheader at Lipscomb, a series at Marshall and a tilt versus Murray State on The Hill will close out the action in March for the Hilltoppers.
WKU Softball will suit up 17 times in the month of April, opening the month at home against UAB, the second-best team in the West Division in 2016. Three days later, the Hilltoppers will head down the road to Lexington to take on Kentucky (46-14), a squad that took second in the SEC last season and put together a 3-2 record in NCAA Tournament games.
For the first time since February, WKU Softball will go nearly a week without competition, playing a series at UTEP on April 8-9 followed by hosting Charlotte for a series on April 14-15. The Hilltoppers will stay in the state for the midweek tilt at Louisville on April 19. The Cardinals put together a 35-17 record in 2016, finishing second in the ACC regular-season standings and earning an NCAA bid.
The final regular season games on The Hill during the 2017 slate will be when the West Division’s top team in 2016, Southern Miss, comes to come from April 22-23. WKU will close conference play the following weekend at FIU before closing regular-season action May 3 with a double feature at Eastern Kentucky.
How to Follow the Hilltoppers:For complete information on WKU Softball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUSoftball, Instagram @WKU_Softball and Facebook @WKUSoftball.