In under two weeks, Mizzou's 2013 softball season will unofficially get underway with the Black & Gold Game on February 9. The following Friday, Ehren Earleywine's Tigers head off to the West Coast for the UCSB Tournament.
The non-conference slate as a whole is tricky, but not incredibly difficult. Teams like Fresno State (which Mizzou will play twice at UCSB) are typically decent but start the season unranked in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll. Later foe Georgia Tech (which Mizzou will host the weekend of March 24) is receiving votes. But when you're playing in the absurdly loaded SEC, you don't need to spruce up your non-conference slate too much. Mizzou will face off with preseason No. 1 Alabama (in Tuscaloosa, April 5-7), No. 6 Tennessee (in Columbia, May 3-5), No. 10 LSU (in Baton Rouge, April 19-21), No. 14 Florida (February 22 at the Mary Nutter Classic), and No. 17 Texas A&M (in Columbia, March 8-10). They'll get all the tests they need.
Anyway, with the season on the horizon, we saw quite a few softball links this weekend. Now's the time to brush up on all things #TeamStubble, get to know the new faces (of which there are not as many as last year), and prepare for what should be an incredibly entertaining season.
- The Missourian: Missouri softball gets back into swing of things
- The Trib: On The Record: Ehren Earleywine
Also a topic of discussion this week: a potential new softball stadium on the horizon. Stubble Field, baby.