SAN LUIS OBISPO – Highlighted by 15 games against programs that qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament and a further four versus teams that reached last summer's Women's College World Series, the Cal Poly softball program released its 53-game regular season schedule for 2019 on Tuesday morning.
Cal Poly, which returns six starters from last year's 25-win club, begins its 25th year of Division I action at the Feb. 9-10 USD Tournament, hosted by San Diego. Play begins on Friday, Feb. 9 versus Portland State and Marshall before continuing on Saturday, Feb. 10 with a rematch against Portland State and a meeting versus the host Toreros.
Cal Poly opens UCLA's Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament on Friday, Feb. 15 versus two 2018 NCAA Tournament qualifiers in Ole Miss and the host Bruins. Ole Miss reached the finals of last year's Tempe Regional while UCLA fell to eventual national champion Florida State in the semifinal round of the 2018 Women's College World Series. Cal Poly continues tournament play on Saturday, Feb. 16 against a third postseason qualifier from a year ago in Oregon State (Tuscaloosa Regional finalist) before facing Fresno State. The Mustangs close the Winsberg Memorial on Sunday, Feb. 17 against Loyola Marymount.
The Mustangs begin the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Cathedral City, Calif.) on Friday, Feb. 22 versus two more 2018 NCAA Tournament qualifiers in Washington and Texas A&M. Washington finished as the 2018 WCWS runner-up to Florida State while Texas A&M reached the Gainesville Super Regional final before being eliminated by host Florida. Action in the desert continues on Saturday, Feb. 23 versus Colorado State and San Diego State before the Mustangs conclude tournament play on Sunday, Feb. 24 another WCWS qualifier in Arizona State.
Cal Poly opens the Stanford Nike Invitational on Friday, March 1 against two further 2018 NCAA Tournament selections in North Dakota State and Northwestern. A rematch versus Northwestern occurs the following morning before Cal Poly faces Montana. The Mustangs wrap the Stanford Nike Invitational against the host Cardinal on Sunday, March 3.
Three programs will comprise the 2019 ShareSLO Mustang Classic with Cal Poly opening its 14-game home schedule at Bob Janssen Field with doubleheaders versus Iowa State and Utah State on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9. Cal Poly caps home tournament action with a third matchup versus Iowa State on Sunday, March 9.
Cal Poly's final non-conference tournament will be co-hosted by CSUN and LMU March 15-17. Dotting Cal Poly's five-game stretch are two games versus Illinois and a matchup against first-time opponent Cal Baptist.
The Mustangs wrap Big West Conference preparations in the Emerald City with Cal Poly visiting Seattle for a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 26 before squaring off with Washington in a single game the following afternoon.
Big West Conference (March-May)
Three of Cal Poly's first four conference series occur on the road with the Mustangs opening their 23rd season of Big West action with a three-game set at UC Riverside March 30-31.
After hosting Hawai'i (April 5-6), Cal Poly visits UC Davis (April 13-14) and CSUN (April 19-20).
Two of Cal Poly's final three Big West series, however, occur at Bob Janssen Field, beginning with an April 27-28 home set against Long Beach State. Big West runner-up a year ago, Long Beach State went 1-2 at last year's Tempe Regional.
Cal Poly then visits the Big West's second postseason qualifier from a year ago when heading to defending conference champion Cal State Fullerton for a May 4-5 series. The Titans reached the final of the Los Angeles Regional last spring before being eliminated by UCLA.
Cal Poly completes regular season action with a May 10-11 home series versus Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara.
The 2019 NCAA Tournament gets underway with 16, four-team regional round sites from May 17-19. The 16, three-game Super Regional series are scheduled for May 24-25. The 38th Women's College World Series is scheduled for May 30-June 5 in Oklahoma City, Okla.