Athens, Ohio – The Ohio softball program has released its 2018 schedule, head coach Jodi Hermanek announced today (Nov. 20). The schedule includes seven teams from last year's NCAA Tournament, including Big 12 opponent Baylor, who played in the Women's College World Series last season. The schedule also includes three teams out of the ACC, two out of the A10, and one out of the SEC. The Bobcats' season includes nonconference matchups against Virginia, NC State, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, and Dayton.
"Being a Bobcat, you have to love a challenge and love being in a big game, in a big moment, against big competition," Hermanek said. "What I love about the 2018 schedule is at we get the chance to be tested and earn a win against ranked or power-five competition every week. And the Bobcats have the mentality that we are the big team on our opponent's schedule, so we take on these challenges."
Ohio will open its season on the road in Madeira Beach, Fla. on Feb. 16-18, in the EMU Madeira Beach Invitational where the Bobcats will face Virginia, UNGG, Lipscomb, UMASS, and Jacksonville State.
Bobcat Softball is set to play four more weekend tournaments, with locations in Raleigh, N.C., Lexington, Ky., Lynchburg, Va., and Harrisonburg Va.
The Bobcats will head to Raleigh, N.C. for the NC State Tournament on February 23-25 and will have Ohio up against Delaware State, Wagner, and NC State.
The Bobcats will follow that by traveling to Lexington, Ky. for the John Cropp Classic from March 3-4. There, Ohio will face both Southeast Missouri and Kentucky twice.
Ohio will then hit the road for Lynchburg, Va. at Liberty to take on WCWS participant Baylor, Liberty, and Delaware in the Liberty Softball Classic.
The Bobcats then travel to Harrisonburg, Va. for the JMU Invitational on March 16-18 for a battle with opponents East Carolina, James Madison, and Stony Brook.
Following the road trip, the Bobcats head home for their home opener against Dayton on Tuesday, March 21 at 4 p. m. at the Ohio Softball Field, and then a series of home games.
Ohio will open up Mid-American Conference play with a match against Central Michigan on Friday, March 23 and a double header Saturday, March 24. The Bobcats will then face ACC opponent Pittsburgh Tuesday, March 27 at 5 p.m. All of these games will take place at the OSF.
The Bobcats will then hit the road again as they continue MAC play and head to Ypsilanti, Mich. to take on Eastern Michigan.
Ohio returns home for a weekday MAC double header against Kent State on Tuesday, April 3 at 1 p.m.
Following that, the Bobcats will travel to Dekalb, Ill. April 6-7 for a set of weekend games against NIU. Ohio will head to Kent, Ohio to wrap up the three-game series on April 11.
The Bobcats come back to Athens April 13-14 with a three game MAC battle against Akron at the Ohio Softball field.
Ohio hits the road for Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday April 17 for a double header against Ohio State at 5 p.m. and the following weekend will have a three-game series against Miami April 20-21 in Oxford, Ohio.
The Bobcats come home for a game on Tuesday, April 24 at 5 p.m. against Marshall. The following weekend, April 27-28, Ohio will play their final regular season home games with a three-game series against Buffalo at the OSF.
Ohio Softball finishes up the regular season on the road for a weekend series against the Falcons of Bowling Green on May 4-5.
The 2017 MAC Tournament is scheduled to begin on May 10 at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. The 2017 Women's College World Series will take place June 1-7 in Oklahoma City, Okla.