SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Opening the second season on its new field, Santa Clara softball announced its 2014 schedule Thursday. The season kicks off Feb. 6 at the Long Beach State Tournament vs. Kentucky. The home opener will be Feb. 21 vs. Iowa State in the Santa Clara Marriott Bronco Classic while conference play opens at Pacific April 5. This will be the first season for softball in the West Coast Conference. For the previous 11 years Santa Clara has played in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC).
"We are excited about the 2014 schedule that we have put together," said Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize. "I think it has good balance, as we play some teams we have never faced before and who I feel we will do a good job matching up with. On the flip side, we have the opportunity to be challenged against some of the top teams in the country which will get us prepared for the first year of WCC softball play. The players are excited to kick off the upcoming 2014 season as we have worked hard this fall and have seen many areas of our game improve. The players great chemistry and have done a great job working together as a team."
The Broncos will play seven tournaments to start off the year, including three at home. Santa Clara hosts the Santa Clara Marriott Bronco Classic, Santa Clara Marriott Invitational, and the Santa Clara Marriott Round Robin while traveling to the Long Beach State Tournament, the Easton Tournament at Cal State Fullerton, the Cal Poly Mustang Classic, and the San Jose State Super Series.
Santa Clara will play defending national champion Oklahoma Feb. 8 in Fullerton. The Broncos will also face off with local rivals Cal (April 5) and Stanford (April 22) on the road. Both Pac-12 teams finished in the top-25 last season (No. 21 Stanford and No. 24 Cal). The season-opener comes vs. Kentucky who finished 2013 No. 12 in the country.
Some other non-conference opponents for the Broncos include Kent State, Iowa State, Boston University, Seattle and UC Davis. The final non-conference game of the season will be May 1 at Cal State Fullerton and senior day will by May 11 vs. San Diego.