MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois softball announced its 2013 spring schedule, which includes 51 total games. Sixteen contests will be played at Mary Ellen McKee Stadium in Macomb, and 21 will be played against Summit League opponents.
"This year we were able to put together a very competitive schedule against high caliber teams that will prepare us for our tough Summit League Conference series," head coach Holly Van Vlymen said. "We are playing great teams from the SEC, Big 10, MVC, Atlantic 10, MAC, Big South and Ivy League conferences, both in preseason and regular season play. Our second week of play, we will be heading to Alabama to play in the defending National Champion's tourney, which will be an invaluable experience for our program."
The Leathernecks start the season with a 20-game road swing starting in Nashville, Tenn. with the 2013 Belmont Spring Tournament. It is a four-game series beginning on February 9 with matchups against Central Arkansas and tournament host Belmont. Day two features contests against Jackson State and Valparaiso.
The swing continues when Western heads to the Bama Bash in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The tournament features five-games, two of which will be played against 2012 National Champions Alabama. Games begin on February 22 and play wraps up on February 24.
March 2-3, the Leathernecks will be in Carbondale, Ill. for a four-game tournament before heading to the 2013 Adidas Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. March 8 through March 10. The five-game tournament features a matchup with Georgia, a team the squad fell 2-0 to in the 2012 season.
Western wraps up its road swing with a doubleheader at Morehead State in Kentucky on March 12.
The Leathernecks return to Macomb to host South Dakota its first Summit League series of the season March 15-16, then hit the road for a doubleheader at Valparaiso on March 20.
A stretch of three conference series, consisting of three games apiece, then occur beginning with Oakland at home March 12-13. Western then travels to Fort Wayne for a series March 29-30 and returns to Mary Ellen McKee to take on 2012 Summit League Tournament Champion North Dakota State April 5-6.
On April 10, the Leathernecks take on Green Bay in a home doubleheader before traveling to Kansas City for another three-game league series April 13-14.
Western takes on IUPUI midweek at home April 16-17, then hits the road to Brookings, S.D. for its series against South Dakota State April 19-20. The squad wraps up conference action at Omaha April 27-28.
The Leathernecks end regular season play with a doubleheader against Missouri on May 1 beginning at 3 p.m.
The Summit League Tournament is scheduled for May 9-11 in Fargo, N.D. and will be hosted by North Dakota State. The top four teams will earn bids to the tournament and play for a berth to Regionals.