Baltimore, Md. -- Two NCAA tournament participants and three 35-plus win teams highlight a challenging non-conference slate as head coach Chris Kuhlmeyer announced the 2020 UMBC Softball schedule on Friday afternoon.
"I'm very pleased with how our schedule came together this season," said Kuhlmeyer. "This will be one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in program history and I am excited to see how we will compete and grow from the competition, especially with so many newcomers. We are hoping that the challenges and experience we get from that non-conference slate will better help prepare us for America East play as we look to build on the success of last season."
The defending America East champions will kick-off the campaign on February 21 at the Battle of the Beach hosted by Coastal Carolina. The Retrievers will face Iona twice, Seton Hall once and the host Chanticleers (39-21 in '19) once.
UMBC then heads southwest to Nashville for the 202 Purple & Gold Challenge hosted by Lipscomb where the Retrievers will take on Indiana State twice, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and the hosts once. Lipscomb went 42-15-1 in 2019, winning both the Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament titles, before earning a No.3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and winning a game before being eliminated by No.2 Arizona State.
The Retrievers then open up the home slate by welcoming local rival Coppin State to The Diamond at UMBC for a mid-week doubleheader on March 4, before hitting the road again for the Hampton Blue & White Invitational. UMBC will face Wagner, Norfolk State (25-20, 2019 MEAC North Division Champions), Drexel (32-27-1 in '19), Delaware and Saint Peter's.
A 20-game homestand then begins on March 14-15 when the Retrievers host Colgate and Fairleigh Dickinson for a pair of doubleheaders as part of the UMBC/Morgan State Charm City Classic 1. North Dakota then visits for the first ever matchup between the two programs in a midweek doubleheader on March 17.
UMBC closes out the early season tournament play when it hosts Wagner, Siena and Rider (March 20-22) for the UMBC/Towson Charm City Classic 2. Defending MAAC champion Monmouth (36-18 in '19, with NCAA Tournament losses of 2-0 and 1-0 to No.10 LSU and Louisiana Tech) then visits for the final mid-week doubleheader before conference play begins.
The America East title defense begins with a three-game set against defending America East regular season champion UMass Lowell March 28-29. Cross-town rival Towson then pays a visit to campus for an April 1 doubleheader to finish out the non-conference schedule, before Stony Brook comes to town for three games in an America East championship rematch April 4-5.
The Retrievers then play their first road game in exactly a month as they play a conference midweek doubleheader at Binghamton before getting a 10 day break before travelling to Maine for a three game series April 18-19. Binghamton comes to Baltimore for a single game on Wednesday April 22 to complete the three game series, before UMBC heads back to Hartford, site of its championship victory last May, for three games April 25-26. UAlbany then makes its way to campus for a three game series to conclude the regular season May 2-3.
To see the full schedule CLICK HERE