The Lady Vols softball team released their schedule for the 2020 season on Tuesday.
Tennessee has arguably one of the toughest schedules throughout the country as every week it faces at least one team that reached the NCAA tournament last year.
The Lady Vols will have 54 games on their regular season schedule, with 22 of those contests being held at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
Tennessee starts the season off with 15 straight road games as they compete in three 5-game tournaments before finally making their 2020 home debut on Feb. 26 versus Tennessee-Martin.
The Lady Vols open their season at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona from Feb. 8-10, taking on Northwestern, Kansas, Western Michigan, Arizona, and then finishing up with Arizona State.
After leaving Tempe, the team will head to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 3 days later to compete in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. While south of the border, the Lady Vols will take on the Mexico Olympic Team to open the college challenge, then going on to take on Colorado State, Utah, Texas, and wrapping up with California Baptist.
Six days after finishing up in Mexico, Tennessee will head to Tampa to participate in the Tampa Tournament from Feb. 21-23, taking on FIU, UCF twice, and then USF twice. After the tournament in Tampa the Lady Vols will finally make their Knoxville debut as they take on cross-state opponent Tennessee-Martin on the 26th. Tennessee will wrap up February in Johnson City as they participate in the 3-day ETSU Tournament from the 28th to March 1.
The Lady Vols will begin their first homestand of the season as they take on Lipscomb on March 4. After facing the Bisons, the Lady Vols will host the Tennessee Invitational as ETSU, Stanford, and Toledo come into town to compete the weekend of March 6.
Tennessee then transitions from tournament play to their normal schedule with North Carolina coming to town on March 10.
The Lady Vols will open SEC play that weekend as they head to College Station to take on Texas A&M from the 13th to the 15th. After returning from Texas, the Lady Vols will head to Columbia, Tennessee to take on Memphis in a neutral site game in the middle of the state.
Tennessee will then begin a string of weekend SEC series with a couple out-of-conference games sprinkled in for midweek games. For SEC play, the Lady Vols will take on Alabama (March 20-22), Kentucky in Lexington (March 27-29), Florida (April 3-5), South Carolina (April 11-13), LSU in Baton Rouge (17-19h), Ole Miss (24-26), and finishing up with Arkansas in Fayetteville (May 1-3).
The out-of-conference midweek games include Belmont (March 24), Liberty (April 1), and Western Carolina in Cullowhee, North Carolina (April 22).
“This is one of the toughest schedules we have faced,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “It is a challenge that we embrace, knowing it will prepare this team for the postseason.”
The postseason will begin with the SEC tournament in Tuscaloosa from May 6-9, followed by the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals being on the May 21-24. The Women’s College World Series will start in Oklahoma City on May 28.
The Lady Vols look to make their 16th consecutive postseason appearance, and their 18th appearance in their 25 years of existence.