Tigers Open 2012 On The Road At UCLA
With the 2012 season beginning around the country for the nation's collegiate softball teams, the Tigers will begin their new campaign on the road in Los Angeles, Calif. as Pacific travels to UCLA to take part in the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament. While at UCLA, the Tigers will clash with a pair of top-15 teams as Pacific will play a pair of games against (13/18) Kentucky and (13/19) UCLA. Pacific begins its year at 2:00 pm on Friday, February 10 against the Wildcats followed by a 12:00 pm tilt against the host Bruins on Saturday, February 11.
The Tigers enter 2012 with big expectations after earning their first Big West Conference championship in 2011. A veteran laden squad, the Tigers will face a slate of games that may rank as the toughest non-conference schedule in the entire country beginning at UCLA to start the year. Laced throughout Pacific's schedule in 2012 will be 15 post-season teams from a season ago, 14 of which will come in non-conference play for the Tigers. Additionally, the Tigers will face nearly half of the 16 teams that reached the Super Regional stage of last season's NCAA Tournament while also taking on three of the eight teams that made it to Oklahoma City for the 2011 College World Series.
In Los Angeles, the Tigers will face a Wildcat squad that is coming off a historic season that concluded with a school-record 40 wins and six single-season offensive records. UK knocked off 12 top-25 ranked opponents throughout the season, won a school-best five Southeastern Conference series, appeared in a third consecutive NCAA Tournament and advanced to the final field of 16 in the national tournament playing host to California in the Super Regionals for the first time in the history of the program. Kentucky returns 15 letterwinners from that squad, including her entire pitching staff spearheaded by the winningest tandem in school history.
The Bruins enter the new year after seeing their 2011 season come to an end in Regional play as the perennial power UCLA fell to Florida on the final day of play with a spot in the Super Regional on the line. UCLA finished 2011 with a 36-19 overall record a season after taking home their 12th national championship. UCLA returns 14 letterwinners from 2011 including eight of nine position starters.