LUBBOCK, TX - Texas Tech Softball (25-2) will travel to Tampa, Fla. to compete in the USF The Game tournament event and will face Long Island University (8-10), No. 19 Florida State (22-4), Florida A&M (3-3 through games Feb. 28), Towson (11-3) and Maryland (10-9).
The Red Raiders will play two games each on Friday at 4 / 6 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. / Noon and then will play Maryland on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. before flying home to return to classes on Monday. The team will host Arkansas Pine Bluff for a double header on Wednesday, March 24, before opening Big 12 play with Iowa State on Saturday, March 27 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 28 at Noon.
For Texas Tech the weekend in Tampa is at least a little bit about earning some respect by facing teams from the east and south. Florida State, ranked No. 19 in both major softball polls, enters as the only ranked team Tech will play, but Florida A&M was the MEAC conference champion and representative from that conference in the post season in 2009 and Towson is off to one of that program's best starts. Despite the great start for the Red Raiders, easily their best ever, and despite the fact that Tech leads the Big 12 in terms of winning percentage, the team is not receiving votes in either of the major polls. Three of its opponents outside of Big 12 rivals are: Auburn (L 6-1), Oregon (W 4-3) and San Diego State (W 6-1).