Softball Opens 2014 Season at Kajikawa Classic
Feb. 5, 2014
Thursday's Schedule (Feb. 6)
Friday's Schedule (Feb. 7)
Saturday's Schedule (Feb. 8)
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State softball team will open the 2014 season by playing six games in three days at the Kajikawa Classic, held in Tempe, Ariz. The Wolfpack will take the field for the first time on Thursday, Feb. 6 against Oregon State at 6 p.m.
“Opening day is always an exciting time,” said head coach Shawn Rychcik. “We’ve put in a lot of good work to get to this point and the girls are excited and so am I.”
State will play three doubleheaders during its tenure in Arizona, competing against Oregon State and No. 21 Stanford on Thursday before facing Fresno State and No. 8 Arizona State on Friday. The Pack will take on Boise State and No. 7 Oregon on Saturday to wrap up play in the tournament.
“Last year we learned a lot about our team when we traveled to California to play some really tough opponents and this year we do it on opening weekend,” Rychcik added. “We know we can’t cruise into the beginning of the season, so we’ve been preparing for it really hard and I think it will be a good test for us.”
Of the six opponents that the Pack will play this weekend, it will be the first meeting between five of the schools, as the only team State has previously faced is the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Wolfpack won the lone meeting against Arizona State, 6-4, on March 18, 2007.
NC State will look to build off the momentum generated at the conclusion of last year, as the squad ended the season by winning 14 of its final 16 games. Eight starters return from last season’s squad, including ACC Pitcher of the Year Emily Weiman and All-ACC selections Renada Davis and Kirsty Grant. The Pack also welcomes eight talented newcomers and a junior college transfer to bring the roster total to 20.
The tournament features more than 20 teams from various conferences and regions of the United States. The Arizona State Sun Devils will serve as the host of tournament, with games scheduled to be played at their venue, Farrington Stadium, and the Tempe Sports Complex.
Arizona State has hosted an annual tournament since it began the softball program in 1966. This will be the 10th year of the Kajikawa Classic, as the name of the tournament was changed in 2005. Play begins on Thursday, Feb. 6 and concludes on Sunday, Feb. 9.