Flashes Release 2012 Schedule
KENT, Ohio - The Kent State softball program recently released its 2012 schedule, which begins Feb. 10 at the UNLV Invitational. The Golden Flashes will start the season with five weekend tournaments and compete in six different states in February and March, before their home and conference opener on March 30 against Central Michigan.
"We set up our early season tournaments to really prepare us for MAC play," Head Coach Karen Linder said of the team's challenges throughout the first two months of competition.
The Flashes will take part in the North Carolina State Invitational Feb. 24-26 and the Marshall Invitational March 2-4.
"At UNLV and North Carolina State, we will be going against teams who have been practicing all winter long," Linder said of the first two tournaments, which she believes could be the toughest obstacles of the season.
Kent State will have three-day weekends at Maryland (March 9-11) and South Florida (March 16-18), before visiting Central Florida on March 21. The following week, the Flashes visit Pittsburgh (March 28) for a doubleheader, just prior to hosting the Chippewas in a double dip. That weekend Eastern Michigan will also visit the Diamond at Dix.
"It's always nice to play at home in front of your family and fans," Linder said of getting 6-of-11 MAC opponents at home. "There's more of a comfort level that adds to what you're able to accomplish."
The 10-game homestand continues April 4 with a doubleheader against Robert Morris, followed by conference battles with Bowling Green and Toledo.
"Last year proved that the MAC is up for grabs and I see that happening again," Linder said. "Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. And we look forward to the challenge of regaining those MAC titles."
An eight-game road swing begins April 8 with matchups against Cleveland State, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Buffalo. Kent State returns home April 25 for a doubleheader against Penn State, followed by home games against Ball State and Miami.
The final regular season weekend has the Flashes visiting East Division rivals Akron and Ohio May 4-6.
The MAC's top eight teams will play for an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament May 9-12 at Firestone Stadium in Akron. The Golden Flashes currently carry a conference best streak of eight straight MAC Tournament appearances.
Kent State's fall competition begins Sept. 11, visiting Ashland, followed by a Sept. 17 tournament at Youngstown State. The Flashes host the KSU Invitational Oct. 1.