By: Malcolm Butler
RUSTON, La. – Defending Conference USA champion Louisiana Tech released its 2020 spring softball schedule that is highlighted by 16 home games, four pre-conference tournaments and marquee road contests at LSU, UL-Lafayette and Clemson.
Tech, coming off a 45-win season that saw the program capture the program’s first ever regular season conference title and its second C-USA Tournament title, will play its home games this spring at the brand new multi-million dollar Ruston Sports Complex – the program’s home-away-from-home for the 2020 season.
Tech will return to campus in 2021 as the Lady Techsters move into a brand new softball facility and field that will be constructed this coming year (Tech lost its previous field in the tornado that hit Ruston this past April).
Head coach Maria Winn-Ratliff and Co. return 13 letter-winners from last year’s team, including all-conference honorees Marilyn Rizzato, Bayli Simon and Lindsay Edwards. Tech will have to replace a highly-decorated senior class which included reigning back-to-back C-USA Players of the Year Morgan Turkoly (2018) and Jazlyn Crowder (2019) and first team all-league arms Preslee Gallaway and Krystal De La Cruz.
The Lady Techsters will play in four tournaments, including serving as the traveling host of the Big Easy Classic at LaSalle Park in New Orleans on Feb. 7-9. Tech will also play in tournaments hosted by South Alabama (Feb. 14-16), Houston (Feb. 21-23) and Sam Houston State (Feb. 29-March 1).
Tech’s non-conference schedule also includes mid-week road match-ups at LSU (Feb. 19) and UL-Lafayette (April 29) and a weekend series at Clemson (April 10-11), a first year program in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Tech also hosts home-and-home with ULM, Northwestern State and Grambling State.
The Lady Techsters will play eight three-game Conference USA series, including home match-ups against UTSA, Southern Miss, UAB and Marshall and road tilts against UTEP, Charlotte, North Texas and WKU. Starting this year, the Conference USA series will be played over a three-day stretch (Friday through Sunday) as opposed to two days as in the past.
The 2020 Conference USA Tournament will be hosted by WKU in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on May 6-9. The top eight (out of 12) teams will qualify.