PHILADELPHIA, Pa. –
Coming off its first Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament appearance in four years, the Temple softball team is poised to make another run at the title in 2012. Head coach Joe DiPietro
has released a schedule for the upcoming season that includes six NCAA participants from a year ago.
The Owls enter 2012 looking to improve on a 22-23 (12-6 A-10) overall record from last season. The Cherry and White face a schedule with 55 games spanning 35 dates from February to May. In addition, TU will play an exhibition game against the Netherlands National Team in March.
Live stats will be provided on OwlSports.com for all home games, with select games video streamed live.
“I think our schedule will be very challenging again this year,” commented DiPietro, in his fourth season at the helm. “Each year I've tried to upgrade our schedule to include some of the top teams in the country. This year we have three Big Ten schools and three Big East schools on the ledger, as well as our challenging conference schedule. Obviously, the highlight will be Michigan (at the Citrus Classic) who will be in the preseason Top-10. Playing in the Citrus Classic along with many of the top teams in the country is always a highlight. Opening conference play at Charlotte will be a good challenge and anticipated set of games since they knocked us out of the A-10 playoffs last year.”
Temple starts the season at the Chanticleer Challenge, hosted by Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C. There, the Owls take on IPFW, 2011 NCAA participant Sacred Heart, and the host team from Feb. 24-26.
TU then heads to Florida for spring break for the Citrus Classic in Orlando (March 2-4), its game against the Netherlands National Team (March 8 in Clearwater), and the USF Under Armour Showcase Tournament (March 9-11), also in Clearwater. In addition to the aforementioned Michigan, the Citrus Classic features games with Purdue, Ball State, St. John's and Georgetown. Cleveland State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan (NCAA's), East Tennessee State and Wisconsin-Green Bay are the teams Temple will face at the University of South Florida event.
The Owls return to Philly to host cross-city rival Penn for a doubleheader in the home-opener on March 17. The squad remains home to take on NCAA participant Iona in a March 21 doubleheader.
Just two days later, Atlantic 10 play begins with a two-game trip to Charlotte. The next set of league games comes at home with two single games against La Salle (March 30-31). Temple will play eight more of its conference games on its home turf at Ambler Field, including a busy Easter weekend against George Washington (April 5-6) and defending A-10 champion Fordham (April 7 doubleheader). The Owls also host Saint Louis (April 27-28) and St. Bonaventure (May 6 doubleheader). In addition to Charlotte, TU travels to conference foes Dayton (April 13-14), Rhode Island (April 20-21), Massachusetts (April 22 doubleheader) and Saint Joseph's (April 24 doubleheader).
With conference play underway in late March, Temple will mix up the schedule with non-conference home doubleheaders against Wagner (March 27), Monmouth (April 18) and Villanova (May 3), while traveling to Army (April 3), Princeton (April 10), NCAA contestant Penn State (April 11), Lafayette (April 17), and Central Connecticut (May 1) for doubleheaders out of league play.
The Cherry and White are vying for their second-straight trip to the Atlantic 10 tournament and first title since 2005. The 2012 championship is being hosted by Saint Louis on May 7-12.