JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Head Coach Jennifer Steele and the Jacksonville University softball team are pleased to announce the release of the 2015 season schedule. Eight of the Dolphins' games will feature teams that made the field of 64 in the 2014 Women's College World Series (WCWS) – fellow Atlantic Sun members USC Upstate, Lipscomb and Stetson, University of Tennessee- Chattanooga, Dartmouth, UCF and the defending national champions, Florida.
"The A-Sun is a terrific league and we will face some of our best competition through league play," said Coach Steele. "The beginning of our schedule is one that will challenge us early and help prepare us to be able to compete at the top of the conference. We have a team comprised of veteran players in key positions and I think we are ready to embrace the journey that lies ahead."
The Dolphins will play a total of 55 games this year- 26 home games, 16 away and 13 at neutral sites which includes action in five tournaments, two hosted at the Debbie and Fred Pruitt Softball Complex. This season will mark the first under the tutelage of Coach Steele and the program's 13th overall.
Jacksonville starts the season traveling to Tampa for the USF Softball Classic. There, they will see action against Hampton, Illinois State, USF and Florida.
In back-to-back games against the Gators, JU will host the nation's best team in its home opener on Feb. 11 which will precede the Jacksonville University Invitational on Feb. 13. The three-day tourney fields Syracuse, Bethune-Cookman, and Akron.
Heading into the final week of February, the Dolphins will play in the South Alabama Invitational from Feb. 20-22 which features Sam Houston, Ball State, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and South Alabama.
Consecutive tournaments – JU's Dolphin Invitational and College of Charleston's Holy City Showdown – run Feb. 27-28 and March 6-8, respectively, before the Dolphins head to Orlando to take on Northern Illinois and UCF on March 11.
Following the ballgame with the Knights, JU begins an eight-game home stand with the final three-game series kicking off Atlantic Sun action.
The A-Sun made history last year with three teams making it in the NCAA Softball Regional Tournament. Both Lipscomb and Upstate were at-large selections while Stetson, the reigning conference champions, received an automatic bid. All three teams earned at least one win in regional play, with the Lady Bisons recording two straight with successes over Charleston Southern and Virginia Tech.
JU's A-Sun schedule begins on March 21 as USC Upstate visits the First Coast. The Dolphins finish the month of March with a three-game stanza at Kennesaw State.
In April, Jacksonville returns home for a three-game series against Lipscomb before non-conference opponent Georgia Southern comes to town for a Wednesday night double-header. The heat of conference play continues when the Dolphins travel for a three-game set against Florida Gulf Coast then return to Jacksonville for a River City Rumble matchup at North Florida.
JU will conclude its regular-season campaign splitting the final two series, home and away, before the A-Sun tournament.
Last season, the Dolphins went 20-29 with 14 wins occurring at home, eight of which were conference successes. The squad concluded its regular season winning four-out-of-five games.
A complete list of all games on the 2015 schedule can be found here.