The Valparaiso University softball program announced today its schedule for the upcoming spring 2019 season as Valpo prepares for its second year of competition in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The season opens for Valpo Feb. 8-10 as the team travels for a tournament hosted by Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. Stephen F. Austin and Middle Tennessee State will also be part of Valpo’s opening tournament in addition to the SEC hosts.
Two weekends later, Valpo heads to one of the nation’s finest softball facilities as it takes part in a tournament at Liberty, which advanced to the NCAA regional final last season. Bucknell, Princeton and Delaware State will join Valpo and Liberty for the tournament in Lynchburg, Va.
The opening weekend of March brings a tournament at Charlotte, with Morehead State and Wagner part of the tournament field as well. A single game at North Carolina State on Tuesday, March 5 gives Valpo a shot at an ACC opponent before returning to the Midwest. Valpo’s final early-season tournament is slated for the second weekend of March in Nashville, where Lipscomb hosts Valpo and Buffalo.
The MVC schedule – which includes three games apiece against each of the conference’s other nine teams – opens for Valpo on the road at Bradley March 16-17. Valpo will also play road series at Southern Illinois (March 23-24), UNI (April 13-14) and Evansville (April 27-28).
Valpo hosts its first Valley series of the season March 30-31 as it welcomes Missouri State to the Valpo Softball Complex. Drake (April 6-7), Indiana State (April 19-20) and Illinois State (May 3-4) will also visit Valpo in 2019. Meanwhile, Valpo’s three-game set against travel partner Loyola is split into a road doubleheader on April 10 and a single game at home on April 24.
Non-conference action is interspersed throughout the conference slate as well. Valpo will travel for mid-week non-conference games at UIC (April 3) and at Northern Illinois (April 30, doubleheader), while hosting Central Michigan (March 20, doubleheader), IUPUI (March 27) and Western Michigan (April 17, doubleheader) at the Valpo Softball Complex.
The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament opens on Wednesday, May 8 from Peoria, Ill., hosted by Bradley. In a change from last year’s format, all 10 teams qualify for the four-day event, which is a single-elimination bracket. The Valley tournament champion earns the conference’s automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA Tournament.