Blue Demon Softball Announces 2014 Schedule
Nov. 12, 2013
CHICAGO – With the fall season in the books, DePaul softball announced its 2014 schedule on Tuesday. Entering his 33rd season at the helm of the program, head coach Eugene Lenti has put together another rigorous slate following a 32-win season in 2013 and an eighth straight appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament.
DePaul will face 16 teams that put together winning records in 2013, as well as NCAA Tourment teams in James Madison, Louisville, Notre Dame and Fordham. The 52-game slate features 28 tournament games, 21 BIG EAST contests (three games against all seven conference members) and 14 home dates at Cacciatore Stadium.
For the Blue Demons, the quest for an 18th NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years begins at the Felsberg Memorial, Feb. 7-9, in Miami, Fla., where the Blue Demons will get games against Maryland, Jacksonville and Florida International. The Terrapins were 31-26 a year ago and have been in three of the past four NCAA Tournaments.
From Florida, DePaul will travel to the College of Charleston Classic from Feb. 14-16 in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Joining the Blue Demons at the tournament will be teams from Western Carolina, Ole Miss, Fordham, Kansas and also the hosting Cougars.
The level of difficulty increases in South Carolina, as the Blue Demons face the Jayhawks, Rams and Cougars – all teams that went for 30-plus wins in 2013. Fordham, the 2013 Atlantic 10 Champion, has been to three of the past four NCAA Tournaments and went 36-23 a year ago.
The Blue Demons then head back to Florida to participate in the NFCA Leadoff Classic (Feb. 21-23) in Clearwater, Fla. Along for the tournament will be Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rutgers, the College of Charleston and James Madison.
The Minutewomen are coming off a down year of 18-25, but have won 23 conference championships in the Atlantic 10 while DePaul also sees a pair of former BIG EAST rivals – Connecticut and Rutgers. The Blue Demons are 14-4 in the all-time series against the Huskies and have defeated the Scarlet Knights in 13-of-15 matchups. James Madison was an NCAA Tournament participant a year ago after compiling a 42-17 record. The Blue Demons will be looking for revenge after falling in the first-ever meeting between the two programs last season.
The schedule will transition to March with the team in Las Vegas, Nev. competing at the UNLV Eller Media Stadium Classic (Feb. 28-March 2). Participating teams include the hosting Runnin’ Rebels along with Weber State, Binghamton and New Mexico State.
DePaul caps its tournament schedule with a trip to Fullerton, Calif. and the Easton II from March 14-15 at Cal State Fullerton. Along with the Titans, who have made 25 all-time appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the Blue Demons will see teams from Texas Tech, Canisius as well as getting a rematch against UNLV.
Conference play revs up on March 22-23 when the Blue Demons host St. John’s in their first action at Cacciatore Stadium in Lincoln Park. DePaul has won five straight against the Red Storm in addition to holding a 17-2 advantage in the all-time series.
Interspersed with league play games versus Providence and Seton Hall, DePaul will meet former BIG EAST rivals Louisville (March 26) and Notre Dame (April 4) in midweek non-conference action. Both teams were NCAA Regional participants a year ago. The Cardinals have made 10 straight NCAA Tournaments, while Notre Dame won the BIG EAST Championship in its final year in the league in 2013.
On April 9 and 10, DePaul visits a pair of local rivals in Illinois State and Loyola. Both teams are coming off 28-win seasons in 2013.
Georgetown comes to Chicago April 12-13 in the Blue Demons’ next BIG EAST series before four-straight on the road at Illinois and new league member Creighton. The Bluejays lead the all-time series with DePaul 5-4 and are coming off a regular season championship in the MVC in 2013.
After returning from Omaha, Neb., DePaul hosts its final BIG EAST weekend against Villanova and caps the home schedule with a single game on April 30 against Northwestern.
The Blue Demons finish out the season on the road against another BIG EAST newcomer, Butler, in Indianapolis, Ind. from May 3-4.
The postseason also comes to Chicagoland in 2014, as the BIG EAST Conference Championship will be hosted in Rosemont, Ill. from May 9-10. The top four teams in the conference will qualify for the two-day event, competing in a single elimination tournament for the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Touranment.