CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Head coach Donna J. Papa announced Wednesday the 2013 Carolina softball schedule, featuring a challenging and exciting slate of conference and non-conference matchups this season.
"We have a very challenging schedule this season," Papa said. "I wanted an out of conference schedule that would test us nationally and help us obtain a strong RPI."
The Tar Heels will play 26 home games at Anderson Field, including a home Carolina Classic tournament Feb. 22-24. UNC will also play in tournaments at Louisiana State, Texas A&M, Louisville and Arizona State.
"We will have the opportunity to play some College World Series participants in LSU, and ASU. Additionally, we are playing a few teams such as Baylor, Kentucky, Iona, North Dakota State and Tulsa that were in regionals last year. This will help prepare us for our ACC season. The ACC was well represented in regional play last year as five of our eight teams competed. It is a strong conference and is one of the top four in the country in RPI."
"I am also excited to host our Carolina Classic at the end of February with teams such as Iowa State, Penn State, George Washington, North Dakota and Iona. We have a big home schedule featuring four home ACC series versus Boston College, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Georgia Tech," Papa said.
The 2013 slate opens at the Tiger Classic Feb. 8-10, in Baton Rouge, La. UNC returns home for a double header against Radford on Feb. 13, before hitting the road for the Aggie Classic at Texas A&M Feb. 15-17. The following weekend is the Carolina Classic, and then a home matchup with UNC-Charlotte on Feb. Feb. 27.
Carolina will play at the Wilson/DiMarini Invitational at Arizona State March 1-3, before heading home for a game against USC Upstate and a series against Boston College. The Tar Heels will face Kentucky March 12 before playing in a tournament at Louisville March 15-17, and then turn around to play NC Central at home on the 19th before heading to Florida State for a three-game series and then to Campbell for a game on March 27.
After two months filled with travel, Carolina will return to Chapel Hill for a 10-game home stand, facing Virginia Tech, Appalachian State, James Madison, Virginia and Elon all at Anderson Stadium. April 13-14 will see two games at NC State, followed by a matchup with East Carolina on April 17 in Greenville.
Heading towards the end of the regular season, UNC will play Georgia Tech at home April 20-21, then host UNC-Greensboro on April 24. The Tar Heels' final series will be at Maryland April 27-28 before the ACC tournament, hosted by Florida State this year.
Last year, Carolina finished No. 24 in the final USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I Top-25 poll of the 2012 season. The Tar Heels also captured the 2012 Atlantic Coach Conference regular season crown with a 13-4 conference record, 43-15 overall, and advanced to the Athens Regional in the NCAA Tournament.
Stay tuned to GoHeels.com for more information on Carolina softball.