The Tennessee softball team will play south of the border early in the 2020 season the program announced on Thursday.
According to a press release, the Lady Vols were one of twelve teams selected to participate in the Puerto Vallarta Challenge on Feb. 13-16.
The tournament will be a two-session format that takes place over the course of two weekends beginning on Feb. 9-6. and will feature powerhouse programs Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas in addition to Tennessee.
The Lady Vols will play in the second session, which will include SEC foe Ole Miss, Texas and Colorado State.
Playing tough non-conference competition from all over the country is something that Tennessee co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly have never shied away from. In fact, both coaches believe it prepares them for a tough SEC slate as well as postseason play.
“We choose to play one of the toughest schedules in the nation year in and year out,” Ralph Weekly said. “That challenge is multiplied by the fact that we are on the road four or five weekends in February and March. We feel it prepares us for the postseason, as evidenced by the fact that we have appeared in 11 Super Regionals, resulting in seven College World Series appearances since 2005.
“Last season, we played a very good Florida team in Gainesville, going 3-3 and losing the World Series berth in the 8th inning of the final game. This schedule is no different. We play Texas, Utah, Hofstra, Liberty, South Florida, Arizona State, North Carolina and Michigan-all NCAA Regional teams.”
Tennessee’s entire 2020 schedule will be released at a later date.