San Jose, Calif. – San José State head softball coach Peter Turner announced his team’s 2015 schedule on Monday. It features nine teams that participated in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and two that reached the Women’s College World Series including National Champion Florida.
“This is one of the toughest non-conference schedules we’ve had in my nine years at San José State but I know we are up to the challenge,” Coach Turner said, “If we’re going to draw the athletes we want to draw and get to where we want to be, consistently ranked in the top-25, we have to play the best teams. The only way you move ahead of those teams is knock them off and the only way to knock them off is to play them.”
The Spartans open the schedule with a trip to Tempe, Ariz., February 5-8, for the Kajikawa Classic featuring NCAA Tournament teams BYU, Utah Valley, as well as Seattle, Ole Miss, Portland State and UC Riverside.
SJSU returns to the state of Arizona the next week, February 13-15, to play Drake, Wright State, Loyola, Loyola Marymount and host and NCAA Tournament team Arizona in the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson.
San José State makes its first appearance in the Bay Area at the Santa Clara Classic, February 20-22. The Spartans play Idaho State, Illinois-Chicago twice, Seattle and Santa Clara.
Coach Turner then takes his team to Honolulu, Hawai’i for the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Alho Tournament. San José State will play a single game against California, then two games each against Hawai’i and Longwood. The tournament begins February 27 and concludes March 1.
Returning to the main land, the Spartans will be in Fullerton, Calif. from March 5-7, for the Judi Garman Classic. SJSU plays Iowa and four games against NCAA Tournament teams Long Beach State, Michigan, Arizona State and defending national champion Florida.
The final regular season tournament for the Spartans finds them in Santee, Calif., for the San Diego Classic II, March 13-15. San Jose State plays NCAA Tournament teams Baylor and Utah Valley, as well as San Diego, Harvard and New Mexico State.
San José State plays its first games on its home field when they open Mountain West action against Boise State, March 20-22.
After a mid-week game against Pacific, March 25, the Spartans make their first conference road trip. They play a three-game set at Fresno State, March 27-29.
A four-game home stand starts with three games against Colorado State, April 2-4 followed by the last non-conference and mid-week game of the year, against Stanford on April 7.
The team travels to defending Mountain West champions and NCAA Tournament team, San Diego State for three games, April 10-12.
They host Utah State April 17-19, and then are at UNLV April 24-26.
The final home appearance features Nevada, May 1-3, and the regular season winds up at New Mexico May 7-9.
“San Diego State and Fresno State will be two of the tougher teams in the Mountain West and we have to go to their places,” Coach Turner said, “At this point we really don’t know who has added whom to their rosters, who’s gotten healthy or who is hurt, but I expect every game will be tough and conference is going to be a competitive every week.”
The 64 teams that will participate in the 2015 NCAA Softball Tournament will be announced on May 10 and play in the Regionals start on May 15.
To prepare for its challenging 2015 schedule, the Spartans have an eight game fall schedule which includes Sacramento State, who come to San Jose on Friday October 24 for a 4:00 p.m game and then on Saturday, October 25 Humboldt State is in for a doubleheader at 10:00 a.m. and noon.
SJSU will also play road contests at Stanford (Oct. 23 at 5:30 p.m.) and Pacific (Oct. 31 at 2:30 p.m.)
“With as much depth as we have, we have been scrimmaging a lot,” Coach Turner said. “The fall schedule gives us an opportunity to see how we implement and execute. It’s more for the new players in our program rather than the returners. It gives us a chance to see how the younger players perform under this level of pressure.”