Indiana Daily Student

Softball announces 2018 season schedule

<p>Then-freshman pitcher Tara Trainer, now a junior, throws a pitch during a 2016 game against the University of Louisville at Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington.</p>

Then-freshman pitcher Tara Trainer, now a junior, throws a pitch during a 2016 game against the University of Louisville at Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington.

The 2018 IU softball schedule was released last Friday and details the 55 games the Hoosiers will play next season.

It will be the first season for IU under new Coach Shonda Stanton, who was hired in June to replace Michelle Gardner.

Stanton's first game in charge of the Hoosiers will come against Boise State on Feb. 9 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona. The Kajikawa Classic will be the first of five out-of-state tournaments the Hoosiers will play in to begin the 2018 season.

It's also the sixth-straight season IU will play in the Kajikawa Classic. The Hoosiers will follow the trip to Arizona with their first-ever participation in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

IU will play two games each against Georgia Tech and Boston College as part of the challenge. IU then will travel to Homewood, Alabama, to play four games at Samford University against Samford and Lipscomb. This marks back-to-back seasons IU has visited Samford. 

The final two out-of-state nonconference tournaments have IU taking part in the Buffalo Wild Wings Classic in South Carolina and a tournament in Norman, Oklahoma. This final tournament gives IU an opportunity to play Oklahoma, the defending national champion.

IU will finish a stretch of 23-straight road games to begin the season with a game at Kentucky on March 14. 

The Hoosiers will then play 10 straight games at Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington from March 16 to 27. This stretch features the Hoosier Classic tournament, nonconference games against Louisville and Western Kentucky and IU's first Big Ten Conference series against Ohio State.

The remainder of IU's schedule is exclusively Big Ten games, except for a home nonconference doubleheader against Butler on April 10.

In conference play, IU will play Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan at home. On the road, IU will face Michigan State, Maryland and a two-game series against Purdue and Rutgers.

The series against Rutgers will be IU's final conference series and will conclude May 6.

This 2018 Big Ten Tournament will be played in Madison, Wisconsin, from May 10 to 12. 

Last season, the Hoosiers qualified for the conference tournament as the No. 10 seed, but lost to Michigan State in the first round.

Cameron Drummond 

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