Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
Texas Tech softball coach Shanon Hays announced the program's 2013 schedule Thursday afternoon which features 21 games at Rocky Johnson Field, including Big 12 Conference series with Oklahoma and Texas.
The Red Raiders will also host fellow Big 12 member Kansas along with two home tournaments – the Texas Tech Invitational and the third-annual Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic – as part of the 56-game schedule.
Tech is coming off its second-straight 40-win season as the Red Raiders finished fifth in the Big 12 standings in 2012 and advanced to an NCAA Regional for the third-straight season under head coach Shanon Hays.
"I think we have a really challenging schedule this year, especially for the new kids we have coming in," said Hays, who enters his fourth season in the Tech dugout. "It will show us where we are early and hopefully get us ready for Big 12 play. Our schedule is tough from top to bottom as we will be playing top RPI teams throughout the season."
Tech will open the season outside the state of Arizona for the first time since 2008 as the Red Raiders will travel to the Sportco Kick-Off Classic held in Las Vegas, Nev. Tech will face three NCAA Regional teams from a year ago to begin the tournament, beginning with Central Florida and DePaul on Feb. 8 followed by Louisville, a top 16 national seed last season, the following day.
The Red Raiders will face a total of six postseason teams from last season during non-conference play with games also against Texas State on Feb. 22, San Diego State on March 16, and Tulsa on March 24.
Tech will continue its road swing to open the year on Feb. 15-17 in Las Cruces, N.M. for the Troy Cox Classic hosted by New Mexico State. The Red Raiders will take on Colorado State, UMKC, Penn State and the host Aggies during the three-day event.
The Red Raiders head to Texas Shootout the next weekend, a three-day tournament that will be hosted Feb. 22-24 by Texas State in San Marcos. Tech will face the host Bobcats, North Texas, UT Arlington and Sam Houston State during pool play portion before closing with a one-game bracket format to determine the tournament champion.
Tech's home slate begins with Jackson State and McNeese State on March 1 to open the Texas Tech Invitational. The Red Raiders will face both schools twice over the first two days of the tournament before closing the weekend against Northern Colorado on March 3.
The Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic boasts its largest field since its inception in 2011 the following weekend as UMKC, Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne (IPFW), Troy and UT Arlington will all make the trip to Lubbock. The Red Raiders will face both UMKC and IPFW on March 8 to start the four-day tournament that will have a total of 14 games between the five schools.
The Red Raiders will then spend Spring Break in Santee, Calif. for the San Diego State Tournament on March 13-17 where Tech will play a total of seven games before returning to Las Vegas one final time for the Rebel Classic on March 23-24.
Tech opens Big 12 play on the road for the second-straight year as the Red Raiders will travel March 28-30 for a three-game set at Oklahoma State.
Kansas arrives in Lubbock the following weekend, April 5-7, to start a six-game homestand for the Red Raiders, who will also host reigning Big 12 Champion Oklahoma on April 12-14. The Sooners advanced to the NCAA Women's College World Series in 2012 where they fell to eventual national champion Alabama in the championship series.
Tech will also host in-state rival Texas on April 26-28 in between road series at Iowa State (April 19-21) and Baylor (May 3-5). The Red Raiders took two-of-three games from Baylor a year ago while also winning the series finale with Texas in Lubbock.
The Red Raiders return 10 letterwinners from last season's 41-17 squad to go along with nine freshmen and a pair of junior-college transfers.