Coach Jeff Franquet has announced the 2012 Central Connecticut softball schedule. Early season trips to Arizona State and South Florida, as well as a complete slate of Northeast Conference games will highlight the 2012 season.
The Blue Devils will open the season with a three game series against 2011 NCAA Champion Arizona State on the weekend of February 24. Following that trip Central will return to Connecticut for a pair of games against Hartford on March 3, and 4.
"We start off with the defending 2011 National Champion Arizona State Sun Devils," Franquet said. "We could not ask for a better challenge to begin our 2012 schedule. This will be a great opening weekend and a terrific opportunity for us to play a team that might be ranked #1 in the country."
A trip to the University of South Florida Tournament, for six games in three days, will put the Blue Devils up against Northern Iowa, Miami (Ohio), Rutgers, East Tennessee State, the Dutch National Team, and the host Bulls.
A doubleheader at Yale will kick-off a long road trip for the Blue Devils. The trip will include stops at the Hampton Tournament as well as series with Norfolk State and Coppin State.
On March 22, the Blue Devil will return home for a single game against Holy Cross. Fairfield will visit for a doubleheader of March 27, and the final home nonconference games will take place on May 1, with a doubleheader against Temple.
Other nonconference games on the schedule are doubleheaders at Hofstra on April 10, at Seton Hall April 19, and at Siena April 25.
NEC play begins with three home doubleheaders, Fairleigh Dickinson on March 25, Long Island on March 31, and Mount St. Mary's on April 1. The Blue Devils will also play Quinnipiac at home on April 7, and Wagner on April 15.
The doubleheaders against Bryant (Apr. 6), Sacred Heart (Apr. 14), Monmouth (Apr. 22), St. Francis (PA) (Apr. 28) and Robert Morris (Apr. 29) will be on the road this season.
The regular season will conclude with a nonconference game at Holy Cross on May 2.
The NEC Tournament will be played the weekend of May 11, and will be hosted by the highest seed.
The Central Connecticut softball team reached the NEC Tournament for the first time last season. The Blue Devils also set a program record with 29 wins in 2011.
"We have been working extremely hard this fall, and we believe that this season will be better than last year," said Franquet. "We have a very talented team, good depth and a good pitching staff to get us through a very challenging schedule this year. Our schedule will prepare us for the NEC Conference and more importantly the NEC Conference tournament. We can't wait to start playing in February."