TEMPE – The Arizona State University softball program will open the 2014 season at home on February 6 as part of the Kajikawa Classic, the first of 39 schedule home contests slated to take place this season. The 2014 non-conference schedule and tentative Pac-12 schedule, as announced by head coach Craig Nicholson, features 14 teams that competed in the postseason last year – including defending national champion Oklahoma.
The 2014 campaign features four tournaments played right in ASU’s backyard at Farrington Stadium and features just four road series and the Fullerton-based Judi Garman Classic as the lone dates away from Tempe, giving fans ample opportunity to come out and enjoy the shade and some top-tier collegiate softball.
A season removed from its third consecutive appearance in the Women’s College World Series, ASU will take on six teams in four days as part of the Kajikawa Tournament (Feb. 6-9) – including a contest against 2013 NCAA postseason qualifier North Carolina State. The season opening tournament kicks off the first of four straight home tournaments and five straight weekends of tournament softball.
The Sun Devils take on defending WCWS champion Oklahoma as part of the Littlewood Classic (Feb. 14-16). The contest will be one of seven non-conference matchups the team will have against opponents that competed in the NCAA postseason in 2012, also taking on San Jose State in the tournament before squaring off with Boston College and Mississippi Valley State on Feb. 22 as part of the Diamond Devil Invitational (Feb. 21-23) prior to games against South Carolina and Minnesota during the Louisville Slugger Classic.
ASU wraps up the non-conference home "tournament season" against 2012 NCAA postseason qualifier Longwood on March 4 before heading to the Judi Garman Classic, schedule to take place March 6-8.
While the Pac-12 Conference schedule is not set in stone, the Sun Devils are slated to open the season with a series against Oregon State in Corvalis, Ore., with the games taking place at some point between March 13-17.
The team returns home for series against 2013 tournament participants Stanford (between March 20-24) and Arizona (between March 27-31) before heading on the road to take on Cal (between April 3-7). After a home series with Utah, ASU takes on 2013 semi-finalist Washington in Seattle (between April 17-21) before a non-conference home series with Southern Missippi.
ASU then caps out the season with a trip to Eugene, Ore., for a battle against 2013 Super Regional participant Oregon (between May 1-5) prior to rounding the season at home against perennial powerhouse UCLA (between May 8-12).
The Sun Devils' non-conference schedule can be found online here while a PDF including tentative dates for conference play can be found above.
Nicholson, in his first year at the helm of the Sun Devils, inherits an incredibly talented team that features the 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year and NCAA All-American, Amber Freeman, as well as second-team All-Americans Dallas Escobedo and Cheyenne Coyle.
The team returns all but one starter (Sam Parlich) this season from last year’s team that finished 50-12 overall (16-8 Pac-12) and finished tied for second in the Pac-12 Conference.
The Sun Devils ranked in the Top 15 in the NFCA poll the entire season and earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament while finishing the regular season second in the nation with wins against Top 25 RPI schools with 13.
ASU’s home heavy 2014 schedule provides a great opportunity for fans to experience the new-look Farrington Stadium, now complete with solar panels that continue ASU’s trend toward becoming one the nation’s greenest campuses while also providing fans with a penumbra that will come in handy during the latter months of the season.
Season tickets for the 2014 season are now available through the Sun Devil Ticket Office, starting at $79. For more information, visit this link or call the Ticket Office at 480-727-0000. The ticket office can also be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sun Devils are two games into the 2013 Fall Season and return to the field on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. against Mesa CC before hosting the annual Alumni Game on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Attendance to all Fall Ball games is free of charge.