OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton softball head coach Brent Vigness announced the Bluejays' 2014 schedule Thursday featuring 11 games against 2013 NCAA Tournament teams, including two Women’s College World Series teams from last season in Arizona State and Nebraska.
Creighton will play 26 games away from home to begin the season, participating in four tournaments. The Bluejays will host 16 home games at the CU Sports Complex and travel for 13 more away contests over the final seven weeks of the regular season.
As a new member of the BIG EAST Conference, Creighton will host four league series in Omaha and travel for three. Typically beginning on a Saturday, conference series all begin with a doubleheader on day one followed by a single game the next day for a total of 21 league games. Marquette and Xavier do not sponsor varsity softball. None of the eight schools in the reconfigured league advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.
DePaul, who has appeared in 17 of the last 19 NCAA Tournaments, will host the 2014 BIG EAST Conference Championship inside the Ballpark at Rosemont in suburban Chicago on May 9-10.
CU opens its 2014 slate with a pair of tournaments in February. The Jays begin the first weekend of the season against three NCAA Tournament squads from last season at the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 6-8.
The Jays start their season with a doubleheader on Feb. 6 against defending Western Athletic Conference champion San Jose State and the host Sun Devils – 2013 Women’s College World Series participants. On day two, Creighton battles Western Michigan and Boise State in back-to-back games. The Bluejays wrap up play in Tempe with a single game against NCAA Tourney squad California on Feb. 8.
Two weeks later the Bluejays travel to Arlington, Texas for the UTA Hilton Invitational hosted by UT Arlington Feb. 21-23. Creighton opens the tourney against Texas Tech of the Big 12 on Feb. 21 before battling the host Mavericks later in the day. The Jays play both the Red Raiders and UTA again on day two of the tournament. CU finishes the tourney against Illinois of the Big Ten Feb. 23.
Creighton concludes the first month of play at the Tulsa Tournament hosted by the Golden Hurricane Feb. 28-March 2. The Bluejays will play four games against 2013 NCAA squads Northwestern State and host Tulsa. CU plays a single game against the Golden Hurricane on Feb. 28. A Saturday doubleheader pits CU against the Lady Demons and Tulsa before the Jays wrap up the tourney against NSU on March 2.
The Bluejays will spend their spring break in Winter Haven, Fla., at the Rebel Spring Games, March 9-15. CU will play a dozen games total with six days of doubleheaders. Highlighting the slate is a game against 2013 NCAA Tournament squad Army on March 14 and former Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) rival Indiana State on March 11. CU will also play both South Dakota and Bucknell twice in the tourney.
After the tournament season comes to a close, Creighton opens its home schedule against another former MVC rival, Wichita State, for a single game on March 19 at the CU Sports Complex.
On March 22-23 the Bluejays start BIG EAST play at fellow newcomer Butler for a three-game series in Indianapolis. The Jays then step out of conference for a single contest at former MVC foe Drake on March 26. Creighton opens its BIG EAST home schedule March 29-30 with a three-game set against Georgetown.
The first game of a home-and-home series against I-80 rival Nebraska kicks off the month of April as the Jays travel to meet the Cornhuskers, a 2013 WCWS participant, in Lincoln on April 2.
The Bluejays begin a five-game homestand with a three-game series against conference rival Villanova April 5-6. CU concludes the quintet of games at home against South Dakota State with a twin bill on April 8.
CU travels to Seton Hall April 12-13 for a trio of contests before hosting DePaul in three games the following weekend April 18-19. The Jays and Huskers then conclude the I-80 series in Omaha with a single game on April 23.
Creighton finishes the month of April with a five-game road trip. CU visits St. John’s to complete its BIG EAST road schedule April 26-27. The Bluejays then travel to Missouri of the Southeastern Conference for a midweek twin bill on April 29. The Tigers hosted an NCAA Tournament Super Regional last year in Columbia as the No. 6 national seed.
The Jays celebrate senior weekend at home against Providence May 3-4 to conclude the regular season.
The 2014 BIG EAST Championship held May 9-10 at the Ballpark at Rosemont in suburban Chicago features the top four conference teams competing in a single-elimination tournament. The champion of the BIG EAST Championship receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bluejays return 15 players from last season's squad that compiled a 29-18 overall record and won the MVC regular season championship, CU’s first since 2009, with a 15-7 mark in league play. The Jays also welcome seven newcomers to the team in 2014.
Creighton won multiple awards at the 2013 MVC Softball Championship including Pitcher of the Year honors for Becca Changstrom and Coaching Staff of the Year accolades for head coach Brent Vigness and his assistants Abby Johnson and Renae Sinkler. Four Bluejays also claimed All-MVC recognition.
Creighton opens its season at the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 6-8.