ATLANTA — Eleven games against eight opponents who competed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament will highlight the 2013 Georgia State softball schedule, released Tuesday.
Among these contests is a return to Tuscaloosa, Ala. where the Panthers defeated eventual national champions Alabama, 5-1, last season. Two other opponents advanced to the Super Regional round of the tournament, including the CAA champions Hofstra.
In addition to the Pride and defending SEC champion Crimson Tide team, the Panthers will also face the 2012 champions of the Southern conference in Georgia Southern and South Alabama, the reigning Sun Belt champs.
During the course of 55 games, the Panthers are scheduled to play a total of 19 games at home, 24 as true road games and 15 on neutral fields during regular-season tournaments.
The conference schedule will feature home series against George Mason, UNCW and Delaware. GSU will also travel for CAA play to face Hofstra, Towson, Drexel and James Madison.
Georgia State will play in four tournaments to start the season, opening with the Bulldog Kickoff Classic in Starksville, Miss. hosted by Mississippi State. GSU then returns home to host a the Panther Invitational at the Heck Softball Complex in Panthersville, Ga. Northern Kentucky and Presbyterian College will visit Panthersville for the annual tournament on Feb. 16-17.
The Panthers finish off the early season slate of tournaments by participating in the Phyllis Rafter Memorial tournament in nearby Woodstock, Ga. before venturing south to Tampa, Fla. for a tournament hosted South Florida. The Bulls earned a trip to the 2012 WCWS after defeating CAA Champion Hofstra in the Tampa Super Regional.
Besides the Crimson Tide, Georgia State will faced off against three more schools from the powerhouse SEC in Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State. GSU will also see an ACC opponent in the Hokies of Virginia Tech.
The 2013 season marks the final year for Georgia State in the CAA, which the Panthers have competed in since 2005. GSU will begin competition in the Sun Belt Conference starting in 2014. The Panthers will see two Sun Belt schools in non-conference contests this season in Troy and South Alabama.