Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Rigorous Slate Awaits Crusader Softball in 2011
The 2011 Crusader softball team will face nine NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago. (Ray Acevedo)
The 2011 Crusader softball team will face nine NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago. (Ray Acevedo)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Nine opponents who appeared in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, including perennial national powers DePaul, Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame, highlight the Valparaiso softball schedule for the 2011 season, as released today by Crusader head coach Jordan Stevens.

Stevens will enter his first season as Valpo head coach with an experienced squad at his disposal, as eight starters in the lineup and all three regulars in the circle return in 2011.  The experience will be needed right off the bat, as 12 of Valpo’s first 16 games are against squads which won at least 30 games a season ago, including six opponents who went to the NCAA Tournament.

The Crusaders kick off the 2011 season at the Cyclone Invitational in Ames, Iowa Feb. 12-13, played indoors.  Valpo faces Creighton, a tournament team in 2010, and Western Illinois on the first day of competition before playing host Iowa State twice to close tournament play.

Two weeks later, Valpo’s annual spring trip to Florida begins at the Hatter Classic, hosted by Stetson Feb. 25-27.  Also at the tournament will be Charleston Southern and Bethune-Cookman, the latter of which went to the NCAA Tournament last season.  The Crusaders then head to UCF on March 1, playing the host Knights as well as Michigan, which ended the 2010 regular season ranked #2 nationally and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals, in single games.

From there, Valpo goes to Gainesville to play in Florida’s tournament.  The host Gators have advanced to the Women’s College World Series each of the last three seasons and closed last regular season ranked #5 nationally.  Also at Florida’s tournament will be North Dakota State and Syracuse, both NCAA Tournament teams in 2010, as well as Gardner-Webb and Pacific.  The Crusaders close their spring break trip with action at the Rebel Spring Games March 8-11 against opponents to be determined.

More challenging tests await the Crusaders in non-league action back home, highlighted by a visit from DePaul to the Valparaiso University Softball Field on April 28.  The Blue Demons last visited the Crusaders’ campus during regular season play in 2006.  Other home non-league games include doubleheaders against Purdue and IPFW, as well as a single game against Michigan State.  The non-league road schedule features a single game at Notre Dame May 3 against an Irish squad that finished the 2010 regular season ranked #24 in the nation, while Valpo will also travel to play IUPUI and Northern Illinois in doubleheaders.

The 2011 Horizon League slate begins at home on March 26-27, when the Crusaders host Detroit for a three-game series.  Valpo will also host UIC, Wright State and Cleveland State during league play, while traveling to Loyola, Butler, Youngstown State and Green Bay.  The top six teams in the league regular season standings advance to the 2011 Horizon League Championship May 12-14, hosted by the top seed.  The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo 2 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24 #21/21 Notre Dame 7
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27 Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo