The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball program will get a healthy dose of just what it needs this season, home games. A total of 28 home games to be exact, as part of a 56-game schedule featuring teams from the SEC, Big East, ACC, Big 10 and Big 12. Eight teams - Jacksonville State, Auburn, Louisville, North Carolina, Creighton, Texas, Louisiana Tech and Southland Conference tournament champion Stephen F. Austin made appearances in the NCAA tournament last season.
With the release of the 2009 softball schedule, the Islanders have several home games on the slate that will give the team 13 non-conference homes games in addition to the 15 Southland home games during the season. The bulk of those non-conference home games come from two tournaments that the Islanders will host, the Corpus Christi Invitational at Chapman Field and the Islanders Classic, which will be hosted at both Chapman Field and Cabaniss Field.
"Home games have been non-existent in past years." said Head Coach Jake Schumann. "We have changed that with the two tournaments at Chapman Field."
Despite playing in only one tournament on the road before the start of conference play, the Islanders make up for less road games with a very challenging list of opponents.
Four games against the Texas Longhorns head a list of opponents that had several members ranked in the top 30 the previous season
The season starts off with several of those previously ranked teams as the Islanders travel to Florida International to take part in the FIU Combat Classic. TAMUCC will face off against Jacksonville State and Auburn on the first day, Louisville and FIU the second day and round out the tournament with a single game against North Carolina on the third day of the season.
"This year's schedule is one the toughest that we have had in recent history." said Schumann. "We will face six teams in the first month that had been ranked in the top 30 at some point last season."
After the initial road trip to kick off the season, the Islanders return home for several games, including two tournaments on consecutive weekends.
The home schedule begins with a pair of midweek games on the afternoon of Feb. 10 against Houston Baptist.
The Corpus Christi Invitational starts on Feb. 13 and features North Texas, Creighton, Indiana State and Detroit Mercy. The Islander Classic starts on Feb. 20 and will see the Islanders take on Minnesota, Loyola-Chicago, Dayton and Pittsburgh.
"These tournaments will serve two fold in that they will provide us with home games for our fans to come cheer us on." said Schumann. "They will also serve as a tune up for the conference season with top notch teams that will prepare us for a very tough and competitive Southland Conference schedule."
After the two home tournaments, the Islanders dive into SLC play with a midweek series against UTSA starting with two games on Feb. 24 and a single game on Feb. 25 at Chapman Field.
The Islanders then take to the road for an SLC series against Nicholls State on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1.
Returning home from their first conference road trip, the Islanders will have a tough task awaiting them as they face Big 12 opponent Texas in a double header on Mar. 5 at Cabaniss Field.
The Islanders return to Chapman to host Texas State two days later on Mar. 7 for an SLC weekend series.
After hosting Texas State, the Islanders hit the road for their longest trip away from home of the year. On Mar.14, the Islanders begin a weekend SLC series against Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La.
After taking on the Lady Demons, the Islanders stay in Louisiana for the week, playing a double header against Louisiana Tech on Mar. 17 in Ruston, La., a double header against Louisiana-Monroe on Mar. 18 in Monroe, La. and a single game against Centenary on Mar. 19 in Shreveport, La.
TAMUCC then returns home to play host to Stephen F. Austin on Mar. 21 and then travel to Huntsville to take on Sam Houston State on Mar. 28 and 29.
The Islanders then play a pair of return games against Texas in Austin on Apr. 2 in an evening double header.
After returning home from their battle with Texas, the Islanders jump back into SLC play when they host McNeese State on Apr. 4 and 5 and then travel to take on UT Arlington on Apr. 18 and 19.
The final non-conference games for TAMUCC come on Apr. 22 as the Islanders travel to Houston to take on Houston Baptist in a pair on Wednesday afternoon games.
The Islanders then play host to Southeastern La. on Apr. 25 and 26 before closing out the regular season with a series on the road in Conway, Ark. against SLC member Central Arkansas on May 2 and 3.
The season culminates with the Southland Conference tournament, scheduled to start the following Friday on May 8. The tournament will be in Lake Charles, La., hosted on the campus of McNeese State.