Honolulu, Hawaii - With the softball season starting on Thursday, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team continues to prepare for its upcoming opponent. When the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Poll was recently released, they found out they will be facing the No. 10 ranked team in the country when they open up against Stanford.
"Anytime that you can play a top team to prepare you for conference play it is a bonus," said head coach Jake Schumann. "It physically and mentally shows you where you are at."
In addition to the top 10 Stanford, the Islanders will also be facing No. 38 Hawaii and Southland Conference opponent McNeese State in the Aloha state.
Schumann sees the game not only as an opportunity to earn the biggest win in Islander history but also as a chance to season his players for the coming schedule. The first season goal is to win a regular-season Southland Conference Championship and they will get to test that against McNeese State, the runner-up in the conference last year.
"I'm a little more concerned about playing McNeese, we could potentially seven times this year; twice in Hawaii, three times in the regular season and hopefully get a chance to play them for a conference tournament championship," said Schumann. "That's a little disconcerting, it gives us a chance to scout them but it also gives them a chance to scout us."
They play Stanford on Thursday, McNeese State and Hawaii on Friday and then finish the tournament in bracket play on Saturday.
"Against Stanford, you're going there to win and you're trying to win but we're not going to win a championship, we're not getting a ring on our finger this weekend so you are going to get some kids some playing time," said Schumann. "Hopefully we will be able to do some good things and build on the positives on how we play in the tournament."
Game time for the season opener is set for 8 PM Central Time with the Friday games to follow at 5 PM against McNeese State and 9 PM against host Hawaii.