Blue Raider softball announces 2009 schedule

Florida State, Auburn, Louisville highlight strong competition

October 27, 2008 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee softball will play in three of the top non-conference tournaments in the country to begin the year in what is one of the most competitive schedules in program history as announced by Head Coach Sue Nevar on Monday.

ยท Complete 2009 Schedule

The Blue Raiders open play at the East Carolina Tournament with two games against ACC foe Virginia and and the host Pirates from February 7-8 before returning home for a doubleheader against in-state rival Memphis on February 17.

They then travel to the Auburn University Tournament to play the host Tigers, Winthrop, Purdue and Austin Peay from February 20-22 before rounding out regular-season tournament play from March 6-8 at the Florida State Tournament in Tallahassee. Fla.

Participants in that competition include Liberty, Bethune-Cookman and the host Seminoles.

"The big thing for our team this year was strengthening our schedule," Head Coach Sue Nevar said. "We are scheduled to play in some great tournament prior to the start of the Sun Belt Conference schedule. East Carolina, Auburn and Florida State are extremely good competition."

The Blue Raiders have two weeks off and then return to Murfreesboro to open up conference play with two-straight home series. They open up with three-game series against Troy on March 10-11 before playing host to North Texas from April 4-5.

"We open up at home to begin Sun Belt play and those three games are going to be key," Nevar said. "There is a very big rivalry between us and Troy and that is a huge two-day stand for our team."

Middle Tennessee then begins a competitive stretch where 18 of the next 21 games are on the road before returning home for their final conference home series against Florida Atlantic from April 25-26.

The stretch is highlighted by a single game contest at Louisville on April 14 and a double-header at Evansville on April 21.

"These will be very demanding and we will have to be prepared both mentally and physically during that point in the season," Nevar said. "We have great leaders and a group talented returning players and newcomers."

The Blue Raiders finish out regular season play at Western Kentucky on May 2-3. The Sun Belt Conference Tournament will be held from May 5-9 in Denton, Texas.

"Every team in our conference is going to be a lot stronger this year," Nevar said. "We have one of the top 15 conferences in the country and we are all playing very successful teams before coming into conference play. We are going to attack our schedule and try and meet our goal for a Sun Belt title."

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.