With 73 days to go before the first pitch of the 2019 season, the Jackrabbit softball program released its 53-game schedule. South Dakota State plays its first 33 games away from home but wraps up the season with 13 of the final 20 regular-season games in Brookings.
“We’re excited about the challenges and opportunities to grow this schedule provides us with,” SDSU coach Krista Wood said. “We have an exciting mix of solid returners and promising newcomers on our 2018 roster and are looking forward to hitting the field in a few short months.”
The Jackrabbits will begin their season with a near-mirrored look to last year’s schedule, traveling to the UNI Dome Classic (Feb. 8-10) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the Osprey/Dolphin Invitational (Feb. 15-17) in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Central Arkansas Invitational (Feb. 22-24) in Conway, Ark. SDSU will play five games at all three events.
Opponents at the three opening weekend tournaments include: Saint Louis, Southeast Missouri State, Drake and Northern Iowa (UNI Dome Classic); Colgate, North Florida, Jacksonville and the College of Charleston (Osprey/Dolphin Invitational); and Jackson State, Central Arkansas and North Alabama (UCA).
From there, the Jackrabbits play 10 games over the week-long trip to Clearwater, Fla. The Jacks play neutral site games against St. John’s, Central Michigan, Detroit Mercy, Western Michigan and Providence during the excursion with games against St. Francis, Penn State, Colgate, Army and Central Connecticut State as part of the USF-Under Armour Invitational.
SDSU wraps up tournament play March 15-17 in a three-day event hosted by Creighton in Omaha, Neb., before Summit League play begins the following weekend, March 23-24, against the Omaha Mavericks.
A brief return to nonleague play sends the Jacks to face Nebraska in a single game April 2 before a long-awaited home opener against Western Illinois in a three-game set, April 6-7.
The stop at Jackrabbit Softball Stadium is short-lived, however, as SDSU hits the road for a midweek stop April 10 at Minnesota before another league series April 13-14 at North Dakota State.
The middle of April will see the Jackrabbits play a seven-game homestand, with doubleheaders against UMKC (April 17) and Creighton (April 23) sandwiching a league series April 19-20 versus Purdue Fort Wayne. The Jackrabbits will celebrate Senior Day on April 20.
SDSU wraps up road play against league newcomer North Dakota on April 27-28, before the final weekend of the regular season pits in-state rivals South Dakota against the Jacks in a S.D. Corn Showdown Series, with the winner of a three-game set earning a point in the school’s yearly competition. The series with the Coyotes is set for May 3-4, with the finale scheduled as Alumni Day for South Dakota State.
The league’s top six teams advance to the Summit League Championship, held May 8-11 in Fargo, N.D., with the tournament winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.