GREENVILLE, N.C. – Non-conference trips to Miami, Fla., Honolulu, Hawai’i and Harrisonburg, Va., as well as 25 home games, help comprise the 2018 ECU softball schedule released in its entirety by school officials Tuesday.
The Pirates are slated to play 19 games against 12 teams that qualified for an NCAA regional or the National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC) in 2017.
ECU kicks off the campaign Feb. 9-11 at the Felsberg Invitational hosted by Florida International University. The Pirates will take on St. John’s, South Carolina (NCAA participant), Hofstra and the host Panthers (NCAA participant) during the three-day event.
Towson, St. Joseph’s and UMBC make up the field of ECU’s first home tournament of the season Feb. 16-18 while Ball State, St. Francis (NCAA participant) and Canisius will visit Greenville Feb. 23-25.
A pair of challenging events awaits the Pirates March 2-9 when they travel to Hawai’i for the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament and the Hawai’i Spring Fling Tournament. ECU will battle Longwood (NCAA participant), California (NCAA participant), JMU (NCAA participant) and UTEP as well as the host Rainbow Wahine during the first part of the trip before closing it out against Longwood, JMU, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and BYU (NCAA participant).
The Pirates close out non-conference tournament play March 16-18 in Virginia at the JMU invitational where they will face off against Stony Brook, Ohio (NISC participant) and the host Dukes.
In addition to its tournament endeavors, ECU will also host UNCW (NISC participant), Duke and NC State while traveling to Campbell (NISC participant) and North Carolina (NCAA participant).
In terms of conference play, the Pirates will play four series at home and three on the road. ECU will entertain Houston, Memphis, USF and league newcomer Wichita State as well as visit reigning conference champion Tulsa, Connecticut and UCF.
The American Athletic Conference Softball Championship is scheduled for May 10-12 at the USF Softball Stadium in Tampa, Fla.