NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State softball head coach Tom Opdenbrouw is a month away from his first game at the helm of the Tigers. The newly appointed skipper has the team tabbed for 55 games, including 25 home contests.
"We’ve put together a schedule consisting of tremendous competition," Opdenbrouw said. "We see the non-conference portion as strong preparation for our OVC slate."
The season will kick off on Feb. 6 at the UL Lafayette/LSU Tournament. The Tigers will play five games in three days, with the first two played in Lafayette, while the last two days will be contested in Baton Rouge. Day one will consist of games versus Incarnate Word and Central Arkansas. On day two, TSU will square off against Memphis before facing the host, LSU, who finished 2014 ranked No. 22 in the nation. A rematch with Memphis on Sunday closes out play for the opening weekend.
TSU will travel to Huntsville, Ala. for a doubleheader against Alabama A&M on Feb. 13 to end a seven game road stretch. Tennessee State will then open the home schedule as they host the Tiger Classic (Feb. 20-22). Bradley, Miami (Ohio), Northern Kentucky, Loyola-Chicago and St. Bonaventure will join TSU in the 15-game event.
The Tigers will continue its home stand with a return doubleheader with Alabama A&M on Feb. 24.
TSU returns to the road with a pair of tournaments and a midweek game prior to the start of Ohio Valley Conference play. The Tigers will play in the Gamecock Classic in Columbia, S.C. (Feb. 27-March 1) where they will take on Marshall, No. 23 South Alabama, Charleston Southern and the host, South Carolina.
A single contest at Middle Tennessee on March 4 sits between the trip to Columbia and the squad’s final non-conference tournament of the season, the Tiny Lassiter Classic. The Birmingham, Ala. hosted event will feature 10 HBCU’s over three days, beginning on Mar. 6. TSU will face off against Alabama A&M, Jackson State, Grambling State, Mississippi Valley State and Alabama State.
OVC play will commence the next weekend as the Tigers host Tennessee Tech for a three-game series (March 14-15).
The following weekend, TSU will cross divisions as they host Austin Peay at Tiger Field for a twin bill (March 21) before hitting the road for a pair of games at Murray State (March 22).
The Tigers will step out of conference for a single game versus crosstown opponent Lipscomb. The home game is slated for 5:00pm on March 25.
TSU jumps back into conference play as they travel for a three-game series at defending OVC champion, Jacksonville State (March28-29), just ahead of a single non-conference matchup at Western Kentucky (April 1).
Conference play resumes at Tiger Field on April 3 with a double header versus Southeast Missouri. The Tigers continue the home stand on April 4 as they play host to UT Martin.
TSU will take to the road for the final road stretch of the regular season. The trip begins with a three-game set at Eastern Kentucky (April 11-12) and closes with double dips at Eastern Illinois (April 18) and defending OVC Tournament Champions, SIUE (April 19).
A final nonconference tilt with Middle Tennessee (April 29) at Tiger Field separates the final two conference series of the year. TSU opens the seven game home stand with three versus Morehead State (April 25-26) and closes out the season with three contests against crosstown rival, Belmont (May 2-3).
The Tigers look to earn a spot for the OVC Championships for the first time since 2001. The double-elimination tournament with a bid to the NCAA tournament runs from May 6-9 and will be hosted by the regular season champion.
"We are excited for the season to begin," Opdenbrouw said. "We are looking forward to getting better each day and accomplishing the goals we have set for ourselves."