DURHAM, N.C. – Coming off an impressive inaugural season and fall slate, the Duke Blue Devils now turn their attention to year two, as head coach Marissa Young announced the program’s 2019 spring schedule.
The 56-game campaign features 11 opponents that participated in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, including reigning Women’s College World Series champion Florida State and national finalist Washington. The Blue Devils will play a total of 29 games at the Duke Softball Stadium, as well as 18 away and nine at neutral sites.
Headlined by the Seminoles and Huskies, Duke’s 11 opponents who made appearances in last season’s big dance include ACC foe Notre Dame, along with the Big Ten’s Northwestern and Ohio State, Pac 12’s California and the SEC’s South Carolina and Mississippi State. The list rounds out with James Madison, Liberty and Ohio University.
Duke opens its second season of play south of the border, playing in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge from Feb. 7-9 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Blue Devils will take on Notre Dame, South Carolina, Liberty and NCAA Women’s College World Series runner-up Washington in their first international competition in program history.
The Blue Devils will host the ACC/Big Ten Challenge (Feb. 15-17) for the second-straight year, welcoming Indiana and Penn State to open home play for the year.
From there, Duke will head back to California for the first time, taking part in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic from Feb. 22-24 in Palm Springs, Calif. Duke will play five games during its time in The Golden State, taking on Northwestern, California, Ohio State, Texas Tech and Utah.
Young and her squad will host the final non-conference tournament March 1-3 with the Duke Invitational. The Blue Devils open their home tournament on March 1 with a doubleheader, facing off against Charleston Southern and Mississippi State. Duke will host MSU and Kansas on March 2 before closing out the weekend against Ohio.
The Blue Devils will play a total of 15 midweek non-conference games, with nine of those at the Duke Softball Stadium. Duke hosts NC Central (Feb. 19), Coastal Carolina (March 13), Liberty (March 27), Radford (April 9), Charlotte (April 10) and East Carolina (April 24), along with a doubleheader against Longwood on April 3. The Blue Devils will hit the road to take on Campbell (Feb. 13), USC Upstate (Feb. 27), Elon (March 6) and South Carolina (March 20), while closing their non-conference road slate with an April 17 doubleheader at James Madison.
For the second-straight year, the Blue Devils open their ACC slate against rival North Carolina March 8-10 in Durham. Duke will host Pittsburgh (March 15-17), Virginia Tech (April 5-7) and NC State (April 19-21) for its remaining ACC home series. The Blue Devils open their road ACC schedule in Charlottesville, Va., against Virginia from March 22-24. Duke will head to Georgia Tech (March 29-31) and Syracuse (April 12-14) before closing the regular season at Florida State, April 26-28.
The 2019 ACC Tournament will be held in Tallahassee, Fla., from May 8-11, with the NCAA Tournament starting with regionals from May 17-19. Super regionals take place from May 23-26, with the Women’s College World Series running May 30 – June 5.
Breaking It Down…
Overall: 56 games
ACC: 24 games
Home: 29 games
Away: 18 games
Neutral: 9 games
2018 NCAA Tournament Participants On The Slate…
The Blue Devils’ 2019 schedule features 11 teams that participated in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Highlighting those 11 are the Women’s College World Series champion Florida State and WCWS runner-up Washington. South Carolina reached a Super Regional last season, while California, James Madison, Liberty, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio and Ohio State all made regional play.
Blue Devils Kick Off Season with First International Trip…
For the first time in program history, the Duke softball program will head outside the United States as the Blue Devils will take part in the 2019 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge Feb. 7-10. The Blue Devils will take part in the first session of the tournament, which also includes Baylor, BYU, Liberty, South Carolina, Washington and ACC foes Notre Dame and North Carolina. The first session has seven teams that reached the 2018 NCAA Tournament, including Women’s College World Series finalist Washington and Super Regional participant South Carolina.
Duke will open the week on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 9:30 p.m. ET against Notre Dame. The Blue Devils will face another familiar foe in their second game as they battle South Carolina on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. The weekend will conclude on Friday, Feb. 9 with two contests, as Duke will face Liberty at 4 p.m. and Washington at 9:30 p.m.
First Time Opponents…
With it only being their second season, the Blue Devils will face a host of first-time opponents in 2019. Headlining that list are ACC opponents Florida State and Syracuse. Duke will also face NC State for the first time in conference competition after taking on the Wolfpack in a non-conference matchup last year in Raleigh.
Other first time opponents include the Pac 12’s Washington, Utah and California, Mississippi State of the SEC, Big Ten opponents Indiana and Northwestern and the Big 12’s Texas Tech and Kansas. Rounding out Duke’s list of first-time opponents is Liberty, NC Central, Charleston Southern, Ohio, Radford and James Madison.
For the second-straight year, the Blue Devils will open their ACC season against rival North Carolina. The two square off March 8-10 at the Duke Softball Stadium, marking the first time the two sides have played each other in Durham. The Blue Devils will open ACC road action later in the month, heading to Charlottesville, Va., for a March 22-24 series against the Virginia Cavaliers, a squad they swept last year in the final ACC series of their inaugural season.
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