CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina softball team will open its new complex on February 8 against College of Charleston, play host to North Carolina and face seven 2013 NCAA Regional teams in the nonconference portion of its 2014 schedule, announced on Friday by head coach Kelley Green.
After a season off campus, the Chanticleers return to the Coastal Carolina Softball Field for 37 regular-season home games in 2014, beginning with the season opener against the Cougars, which is set for a first pitch of 5 p.m. The two teams will play again the following day at 1 p.m.
ACC member North Carolina will visit Conway for the first time since 2009 for a single game on March 12, while fellow power conference foes Syracuse, Purdue and Minnesota are in the fields for two of the Chants' four home tournaments.
Both Syracuse and Purdue will be part of the Kickin' Chicken Classic (February 14-15), along with LaSalle and Towson. In the Coastal Carolina Invitational (February 28-March 2), Coastal will play two games against 2013 Conference USA Tournament champion Marshall, along with matchups against Samford, Maryland Eastern Shore and St. Peter's.
The Chanticleer Challenge (March 6-9) will feature in-state foe Furman, defending Ohio Valley Conference Tournament winner Jacksonville State, Southern Conference regular-season champion Appalachian State and Bryant. The Chanticleer Showdown (March 14-16) caps the regular-season tournaments and features NCAA at-large qualifier Minnesota and Atlantic 10 Tournament champion Fordham, along with Georgia State and Troy.
Coastal will play its one road tournament at the University of Florida the weekend of February 21-23 and face the defending SEC regular-season and tournament champ Gators once, in addition to two games against SoCon tournament champion Georgia Southern.
"We are looking forward to the challenging schedule we have put together for the 2014 season," Green said. "We will compete against some of the best teams in the country and have the opportunity to make our own mark on the national stage. This will be a huge test for our program, but we are all very excited to step up to the challenge."
The defending Big South regular-season champion Chants open up conference play with a home series against Gardner-Webb on March 22 and 23. They will also host three games apiece with 2013 tournament champion Longwood and rivals Liberty and Charleston Southern. Coastal will play its last six conference games on the road at Radford and Winthrop and also make trips to Campbell and Presbyterian College.
Other nonconference contests include doubleheaders at home against regular-season OVC champ Eastern Illinois on March 10 and on the road at UNC Wilmington on April 2.
CCU will also play host to the Big South Tournament for the first time since 2010 on May 8-11, with the winner earning a spot in the NCAA Regionals field.