PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh softball team and head coach Holly Aprile released its 2017 schedule Thursday morning. The Panthers take on nine 2016 NCAA Tournament participants, including ACC rivals North Carolina, Louisville and Florida State.
The Panthers are set to play 46 contests this season, 31 of which will be on the road. Pitt will play a total of 24 conference games with half at Vartabedian Field in the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt participates in three preseason tournaments prior to beginning ACC play. The Panthers open their 2017 slate with tournament play in Orlando, Fla., Tallahassee, Fla. and Troy, Ala. They start the season at the UCF Tournament (Feb. 10-12), before heading to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge (Feb. 17-19) hosted by Florida State. Pitt rounds out preseason play at the Troy University Tournament (Feb. 24-26).
Over spring break, Pitt begins conference play with a three-game slate versus North Carolina (March 3-5) in Chapel Hill, N.C. New to this season, ACC series will take place over the course of three days, playing a single game each day. In past seasons, teams had the option of participating in a doubleheader one of the two days.
Wrapping up spring break, the Panthers will play a single game at Elon (March 7), before heading to JMU (March 10-12) for a three-game tournament.
Pitt will host ACC foes Boston College (Mar. 24-26), Virginia Tech (April 7-9), Syracuse (Apr. 14-16) and NC State (April 21-23) at Vartabedian Field, while traveling to Louisville (March 17-19), Florida State (March 31-April 2) and Georgia Tech (May 5-7).
The Panthers play four midweek, non-conference matchups this season. Pitt welcomes Kent State (March 22) and Penn State (March 29) to Pittsburgh before heading to Loretta, Pa. for a game against Saint Francis (April 5). The Panthers round out non-conference play with Ohio State (April 18) at home.
The ACC Tournament (May 11-13) will take place in Chapel Hill as UNC is set to host.
Pitt returns ten players from the 2016 season and welcomes six freshmen and a transfer to the roster. Standout junior Giorgiana Zeremenko will look to continue her streak as the Panthers’ top hitter after setting the single-season home run record (17) last year. Junior Kayla Harris returns to the mound for Pitt after leading the team with a 3.40 earned-run average last season.
Source- Pitt Athletics