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Lancers release 2020 softball schedule

To be the best, you have to play the best, and Longwood University softball is doing just that in 2020, a Longwood Athletics press release cited Tuesday, Dec. 24. The reigning Big South Champion Lancers feature six Power Five schools on its 2020 schedule, including four conference champions, six NCAA Regional qualifiers and one opponent that participated in the Women’s College World Series last season.

Kathy Riley

“Our coaching staff is very excited about this year’s team,” Longwood Head Coach Kathy Riley said in the release. “Losing six starters will impact us early, but this fall, the girls showed that they have the makings of a close-knit competitive team. The Big South is going to be wide open for a few teams to challenge for a championship, which will make for some exciting games for our Lancer fans.”

She added, “I feel like our strong schedule is going to help us develop throughout the season, with games against Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech, (James Madison University) JMU and North Carolina. I expect us to use our schedule to get the experience we need to become a championship-caliber team come the conference tournament in May.”

The Lancers will open the season on the road with 19 straight away games, with 15 of those games taking place in the Sunshine State, the release cited. Longwood competes in the Elon Softball Classic in Elon, North Carolina, to start the 2020 season on Feb. 7-9. The Lancers will play four games in two days against host Elon University, University of Rhode Island and Seton Hall University before heading to Florida.

Officials stated in the release that Longwood begins a stretch of 15 games over 23 days in Florida with the Bubly Invitational on Feb. 14-16, hosted by Women’s College World Series qualifiers and SEC Champions the University of Florida. The Lancers face the Gators twice in the invitational.

The Big South Tournament takes place May 6-9 in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, with Gardner-Webb University hosting the event.

2020 LANCERS SCHEDULE BY THE NUMBERS

57 games: 21 home games, 24 away games, 12 neutral-site games

Home Big South opponents (4): Radford (March 17-18), Winthrop (March 27-28), Gardner-Webb (April 4-5), Presbyterian (April 10-11)

Away Big South opponents (4): Charleston Southern (March 17-18), Campbell (March 21-22), Hampton (April 14-15), USC Upstate (April 25-26)

Non-Conference opponents (22): Elon (Feb. 7, 9), Rhode Island (Feb. 8), Seton Hall (Feb. 8), Florida A&M (Feb. 14), Florida (Feb. 14-15), Southeastern Louisiana (Feb. 15), North Dakota State (Feb. 16), Ball State (Feb. 28), Columbia (Feb. 28), Long Island (Feb. 29), Central Florida (Feb. 29, March 1), Florida State (March 6), Niagara (March 7), Valparaiso (March 7), Creighton (March 8), Bethune-Cookman (March 8), Rhode Island (March 11), North Carolina Central (March 19), James Madison (March 25), Virginia (April 6), Duke (April 8), North Carolina (April 22), Virginia Tech (April 29)