KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee softball will shoulder a heavy load in the 2020 season, facing at least one team that advanced to the NCAA tournament every week of its 54-game regular-season slate and every weekend of a stout conference schedule.
The Lady Vols will host 22 home contests throughout the year, including four SEC series (Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Ole Miss), but will start the season with four-consecutive road tournaments.
The Lady Vols open Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. (ET) versus UT-Martin.
The season kicks off with a visit to the west coast for the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., hosted by Arizona State Feb. 8-10. Tennessee opens with Northwestern, which fell 2-0 in the Norman Super Regional last season, before closing the weekend against Arizona, one of eight 2019 Women’s College World Series teams, and the host team that earned a regional bid a season ago. The Lady Vols will also play Kansas and Western Michigan.
The Orange and White continue on to Mexico for the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge from Feb. 13-15, where they face a familiar Texas team, who they split a two-game series with in 2019. They also play their third of four Pac-12 opponents versus Utah. Tennessee will also see two teams for the first time in program history, against 2019 Tucson Regional contender Colorado State, and California Baptist.
The Lady Vols return east for the Tampa Tournament (March 6-8) and the Buccaneer Classic in Johnson City, Tenn. (Feb. 28 – March 1) before they close out the preseason stretch hosting the Tennessee Invitational March 6-8. The field includes Stanford and Toledo, both which went to the NCAA Regional, and ETSU.
SEC competition begins on the road for the Lady Vols with a trip to College Station, Texas March 13-15 to take on the Texas A&M. It will be the first of eight conference series. The Lady Vols also visit Kentucky (March 27-29), LSU (April 17-19) and Arkansas (May 1-3).
League play pits Tennessee, which advanced to the Gainesville Super Regional, against a team that earned an NCAA bid in 2019 each weekend, including a home bout with the Gators who edged the Lady Vols in extra innings to earn a spot in the WCWS.
“This is one of the toughest schedules we have faced,” said co-head coach Ralph Weekly. “In addition to 24 games against SEC teams who went to the NCAA last year, we open on the road with Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, Northwestern and Texas. It is a challenge that we embrace, knowing it will better prepare this team for post season.”
The Lady Vols search for their 16th consecutive postseason appearance in 2020 as they also celebrate the program’s 25th year.
TV schedule and game times for conference games will be added as they become available.
Source- University of Tennessee Athletics