Softball Unveils 2014 Schedule
Nov. 7, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball program announced its 2014 schedule with 32 home games at Cougar Softball Stadium highlighted by hosting The American Championships and two tournaments at home to begin the season.
In her 14th season at the helm of Houston softball, head coach Kyla Holas has assembled a strong schedule featuring 12 teams that advanced to the NCAA postseason last year. The Cougars will play those postseason tournament teams a total of 21 games with three of the opponents (Nebraska, Texas and Michigan) 2013 Women's College World Series participants.
"When you look at that tournament schedule that we have put together, we should be thoroughly prepared and hopefully have some big wins when we're heading into conference," said head coach Kyla Holas.
"We're known as a team that's not going to shy away from those top teams. We know we need to build a case next to our name and that's something that we always have done. The girls are all excited, so is the staff and we're just ready for the season to get here."
The Cougars open the season on Feb. 14-16 with the UH Invitational. The Cougars welcome Sam Houston State, Nebraska, Army and Stephen F. Austin for the opening weekend action. Houston hosts the UH Classic the next weekend (Feb. 21-23) with Nicholls State, Columbia and North Dakota State coming to town.
After the two home tournaments, Houston heads on the road to the Crimson Tide Invite (Feb. 28 - March 2) and the Judi Garmen Classic (March 6-8). UH will square off against host Alabama, Florida State and Purdue at the Invite while playing Texas, Long Beach State, Fresno State and Arizona in Fullerton, Calif.
Houston begins their first season in The American facing some new squads and some familiar foes. With eight teams sponsoring softball in the league, Houston plays four conference homestands and three road series. The conference action starts following the tournament slate with Temple (March 22-23) and Louisville (March 29-30) coming to Houston to begin league play.
"I'm excited for this new opportunity and the new opponents. Our style of play moving forward will evolve and we need to figure that out real quick. That's going to be most of our focus is figuring out what style of play these teams use, travel, weather, new venues, etc. We had a lot of familiarity within Conference USA and now this new challenge presents itself and we're absolutely ready for it."
In between the set of opening conference games, Houston will host its annual Striking Out Breast Cancer game featuring a doubleheader against Louisiana-Lafayette on March 26.
The Cougars travel to play Connecticut, Memphis and UCF on the road in The American and close out the league play with USF and Rutgers coming to town.
The American league championship runs through Houston as the Cougars will serve as hosts to the event from May 8-10.
In addition to the quality conference and tournament schedule, some marquee non-conference opponents await Houston. UH and Texas A&M play on Feb. 26 in Houston and the Cougars will also host Baylor for a doubleheader on April 8. Houston travels to Austin and faces Texas on March 19.
The Cougars will also play fellow Texas teams North Texas (March 4), Houston Baptist (April 23), at Lamar (April 16) and at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (April 30) to round out the non-conference games.
Houston finished last year with a 41-20 record and made it three straight years advancing to an NCAA regional - a first in program history. With the 2014 schedule set, the Houston program enters the season eyeing their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA postseason and creating some noise once their destination is reached.
The 2014 NCAA Regionals begin May 16-18 with the Super Regionals to follow the next weekend May 23-26 and the Women's College World Series is May 30-6.