Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Aztecs, Rebels release 2013 schedules

Defending Mountain West champion San Diego State and UNLV have become the first two schools in the conference to release their complete 2013 softball schedules.

San Diego State, as usual, plays a strong and impressive non-conference slate that will leave the Aztecs battle-tested by the time they reach MW play.  The Aztecs open the 2013 season at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, where they'll face -- among others -- Arizona and Northwestern.

In week two, SDSU hosts the annual Campbell-Cartier Classic, which includes national powers Oklahoma, Washington, Notre Dame and Kentucky.  After a Palm Springs weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, the Aztecs return home to co-host San Diego Classic I, a tourney that will feature 12-time NCAA champion UCLA and BYU.

In early March, San Diego State will travel for the second straight season to play in Mountain West newcomer Fresno State's annual Bayer CropScience Classic.  There, both the Aztecs and Bulldogs will see a monster field, including a pair of 2012 Women's College World Series qualifiers -- defending Pac-12 champion California and Oregon.  Also among the teams in that tourney:  2012 NCAA entrant Oregon State, Iowa State of the Big 12 Conference, and St. Mary's.

Texas Tech and UMass dot the field as the Aztecs co-host San Diego Classic II in mid-March, and then it's off to regular-season Mountain West action in what will be San Diego State's last season in the conference.  SDSU opens MW play March 28 by hosting New Mexico.  Home series for the Aztecs include Fresno State and UNLV; away series will be at Boise State, Colorado State and Nevada.

UNLV will see a home-heavy schedule once again as the Rebels host 29 games at Eller Media Stadium.  With several neutral-site games on the slate as well, UNLV will face just 12 actual road games in a 56-game schedule.  The Rebels won't play their first true road contest until March 27 at Northern Colorado.

Highlighting the Rebels' schedule are a pair of home games against DePaul, and contests against powerful UCLA, LSU and Oregon.  Also on tap:  two home matchups versus both Tulsa and Texas Tech, along with single games against UMass, Louisville and Virginia Tech.

UNLV will open the 2013 MW regular-season against Colorado State in Fort Collins.  The Rebels' home-opening conference series will take place April 5-7 against newcomer Fresno State.  Additional home series for UNLV will come against New Mexico and Boise State; away series will be against newcomer and in-state rival Nevada, along with San Diego State.  The Aztecs and Rebels close out the regular season on the final weekend May 9-11 in San Diego.

There will be no MW postseason tournament, and the conference champion and automatic NCAA bid will go to the league's regular-season champion once again.  No conference series will include a doubleheader, with all games being single games held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.