"Softball fans in our state who love college softball are in for a real treat in 2014, as we host four teams who made the Super Regional earlier this year," Stuedeman said. “In order to continue to make the NCAA Tournament like we have done in my first two years, it’s imperative we continue to play the toughest teams in the country.”
Fans can catch a sneak peak of the 2014 Bulldogs this October as Stuedeman’s squad plays its fall exhibition schedule. Following a game against East Mississippi Community College in Ridgeland, Miss., on Oct. 6, MSU will play six games in eight days at the MSU Softball Stadium in Starkville. The Maroon and White play 2013 NCCAA Finalist Shorter University in a doubleheader on Oct. 13, 2013 NJCAA National Champion Wallace-Hanceville in a double-dip on Oct. 19 and wrap up its fall exhibition slate Oct. 20 with two games against Itawamba Community College.
When the spring hits, the Bulldogs will waste no time going up against tough competition, opening up the 2014 campaign with the annual Bulldog Kickoff Classic at the MSU Softball Stadium Feb. 7-9. In addition to Northern Kentucky, State will host NCAA Tournament teams Jacksonville State and in-state foe Mississippi Valley State in the season-opening weekend.
Following a trip to the Sunshine State for the FAU Kickoff Classic Feb. 13-16 against host FAU, Long Island, UMass, Providence and Maryland, MSU returns home to the Dawg Diamond for a Feb. 19 matchup against Central Arkansas and a three-game set vs. Iowa Feb. 21-23.
From there, Stuedeman and company head to the coast, where they will host the first-ever Mississippi Gulf Coast College Softball Classic Feb. 28-March 1. The event held at the Gulfport Sportsplex will feature other 2013 NCAA Tournament teams such as Baylor and South Alabama.
It does not get any easier for State when they return home to Mississippi’s College Town March 4-9, as they take on 2013 Super Regional squad UAB on March 4 and fellow Super Regional participant Kentucky March 7-9 in both teams’ SEC lid-lifter.
After the SEC-opening weekend, the Maroon and White will have Georgia on its mind during its spring break, when it plays at Kennesaw State March 11, Georgia State March 12 and finish up its five-game Georgia swing at the University of Georgia March 14-16.
State stays on the road for a March 18 non-conference game at Memphis and ends its time away from home with a three-game series at Auburn March 21-23. The Dawgs return to home sweet home for a midweek game vs. Samford March 26.
With April on the horizon, the Maroon and White will begin what is sure to be the most difficult stretch in school history, playing 20 of the final 21 regular-season games against teams which made the NCAA Tournament this past spring. The Bulldogs begin the stretch with a home series March 29-30 against 2013 Conference USA Tournament Champion Marshall, and end the 2014 home campaign against SEC rival Arkansas on Senior Weekend (April 25-27).
In between, Starkville’s Team will play host to Super Regional squads Missouri (April 4-6) and Alabama (April 11-13).
On the road, MSU will experience 2013 NCAA Mobile Regional rematches with Mississippi Valley State (April 1) and South Alabama (April 9), before traveling to Rocky Top April 17-19 for a three-game series against 2013 NCAA National Finalist Tennessee. The Bulldogs wrap up the 2014 regular season with a three-game matchup at LSU May 2-4.
South Carolina will host the 2014 SEC Tournament May 7-10, with the NCAA Tournament beginning May 16 at campus sites across the country. For more information on MSU softball, follow the program on Twitter at @HailstateSB, join the team on Instagram at HailStateSB and like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/HailStateSB.
2013-14 Schedule Highlights
• Toughest Schedule Ever: 31 of 56 regular-season games are against teams that made the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
• Oct. 13-20th: Six fall exhibition games in eight days at the MSU Softball Stadium.
• Feb. 7: 2014 Season Opener at the MSU Softball Stadium
• March 7-9: SEC Opener vs. 2013 Super Regional Team Kentucky
• April 4-6: Three-game series vs. 2013 Super Regional Team Missouri
• April 11-13: Three-game series vs. 2012 National Champion Alabama
• April 17-19: Three-game series at 2013 National Finalist Tennessee
• April 27: Senior Day vs. Arkansas