BALTIMORE—UMBC head softball coach Joe French today announced the Retrievers' 2012 schedule, which includes five tournaments and games against a number of regional foes. The season begins Feb. 17-19 at the Lancer Lead Off Tournament, hosted by Longwood University.
"With the influx of so many new players who will play important roles early in the season, I think our schedule will test us early and hopefully prepare us for conference play," French said.
The Retrievers will face Big East opponents Seton Hall and St. John's, as well as the host Lancers, on opening weekend, before traveling to the Charleston Southern Tournament, where they will take on Wright State, Hampton and the host Buccaneers Feb. 24-25.
UMBC will host three straight tournaments, beginning with the UMBC Retriever Classic (March 2-4) with Princeton, Canisius, Niagara, Iona and Fairleigh Dickinson. The next weekend is the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational (March 10-11) with Mount St. Mary's, Siena, Niagara and Seton Hall. Finally, the UMBC Spring Classic (March 15-18) will feature Siena, St. Francis, Sacred Heart, Rhode Island and Brown.
Highlights of the non-conference slate include home games against Howard (March 21), George Washington (March 27), St. Peter's (March 31-April 1), Georgetown (April 3), Mount St. Mary's (April 11) and La Salle (April 24), and road trips to Towson (Feb. 29) and George Mason (March 20).
America East Conference play begins March 24-25 with a three-game home series against defending America East champion Albany. The Retrievers also host Stony Brook (April 14-15) and 2011 regular-season champion Boston University (May 5-6), while UMBC will travel to 2011 America East Championship qualifier Binghamton (April 6-7), Hartford (April 21-22) and Maine (April 28-29).
The four-team America East Championships will take place May 10-12 at the home field of the No. 1 seed. The Retrievers returned to the tournament as the No. 4 seed in 2011, making their fifth appearance in the last six years, and finished the season with a 25-25 overall record.