Athens, GA - The University of Georgia softball program and head coach Lu Harris-Champer announced their 2011 schedule on Thursday. The Bulldogs, the only team to advance to the Women's College World Series final four in both of the past two seasons, will play a 56-game regular season schedule including 36 contests at home in the UGA Softball Stadium.
The 2011 schedule features four regular-season tournaments and a 28-game Southeastern Conference slate. A total of 28 games will come against teams that advanced into the 2010 NCAA postseason tournament including 13 contests against six of the national seeds. Additionally, 17 contests will be against teams ranked in the final USA Today/NFCA Top-25 Poll of 2010.
Georgia opens its 2011 campaign by hosting the Fourth Annual Red & Black Showcase, Feb. 11-13, and the Bulldogs first game of the season will come against Illinois State. A total of six teams will in Athens for the Showcase and five of those teams advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament including host Georgia, Illinois State, Maryland, 2010 Conference USA Champion East Carolina and 2010 Atlantic Sun Champion Lipscomb while Iowa rounds out the field for the event.
UGA remains at home for the second weekend of the 2011 season by playing host to the Eighth Annual Georgia Softball Classic, Feb. 18-20. Visiting teams for the Classic include Winthrop, Buffalo, 2010 Summit League Tournament Champion North Dakota State, Marshall and North Carolina State.
The Bulldogs then travel to California for their third tournament, the Cathedral City Classic, Feb. 24-26. In that tournament, Georgia will play against four teams ranked in the final NFCA Top-25 Poll of 2010 including WCWS Championship runner-up Arizona (No. 2), Oklahoma (No. 11), Texas A&M (No. 20) and Oklahoma State (No. 23). The Bulldogs will also play Cathedral City Classic tournament host, Oregon State.
After traveling out west, Georgia returns to Athens for its next eight contests as it hosts a third home tournament and begins SEC play. The fourth tournament overall, the 2011 Bulldog Invitational will take place March 4-6 and include Indiana, Campbell, James Madison and Chattanooga. SEC play then opens with a three-game series against LSU, March 11-12.
Georgia then goes on the road for eight of its next nine games beginning with its first SEC road series, a double header at South Carolina, March 16. That twin bill will be followed by a three-game set at 2010 SEC Champion Alabama, March 18-20. After a brief stop at home for a March 23rd game with USC Upstate, the Bulldogs travel to play a three-game series at Florida, March 25-27.
Thirteen of the next 14 games on the 2011 schedule will then be played at the UGA Softball Stadium as a nine-game home stand follows the trip to Florida starting with the Bulldogs' first of two meetings with Georgia Tech on March 30. The home stand then includes a single game with the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (March 31), two contests with Tennessee-Martin (April 2-3), an SEC double-header with Tennessee (April 6), and a three-game SEC series with Kentucky (April 8-10). After a second meeting with Georgia Tech in Atlanta on April 13, the Bulldogs play host to Ole Miss for three games, April 15-17, and welcome Georgia Southern for a single game on April 20.
From there, 10 games remain on the regular season schedule including nine contests against SEC Western Division schools beginning with a three-game series at Arkansas (April 22-24). Georgia then plays its final non-conference and final in-state game against Kennesaw State at home on April 27 before returning west to play at Auburn (April 29-May 1). The last series of the regular season will come at home against Mississippi State, May 6-8.
The SEC Tournament will be hosted by Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., May 12-14. NCAA Regionals will take place on campus sites May 20-22, and NCAA Super Regionals will also be played on campus sites May 28-29. The 2011 Women's College World Series will be held at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City June 2-8.