Softball releases 2022 schedule – Marshall University Athletics
HUNTINGTON, West Virginia – Marshall Softball Head Coach Megan Smith Lyon announced the herd’s 2022 calendar on Wednesday. Marshall will play 23 home games at Dot Hicks Field this spring, a record 24 home games in 2012.
“We are really looking forward to a full schedule in 2022,” said coach Smith Lyon. âWe are up against several strong opponents outside of the conference to help us prepare for a tough C-USA schedule. I am extremely happy that we get to play a bit at home this spring. We love our fans and their support and the atmosphere they provide us at The Dot is so special. “
Due to COVID, the Thundering Herd only played 33 games in 2021, the least of any team in Conference USA. In 2022, Marshall has 56 games on the schedule with three road tournaments early in the season, two home tournaments, four home conference weekends, four road conference weekends and five non-conference midweek clashes. with four on the road and one at home. The 23 home games are the third in a season in program history. The maximum that the herd played at their place of residence was 25 in 2009 and again in 2010. Marshall has only played 14 home games in 2021.
Among the herd’s opponents are three teams that have played in the NCAA regionals and have combined for over 600 wins.
Coach Smith Lyon returns a veteran roster with a mix of newcomers, including two experienced transfers. Herd’s offense has been known to be very explosive since Smith Lyon took over in 2019.
The 2022 season begins in 85 days (February 11-13) as Marshall travels to Atlanta, Georgia for a Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets tournament. At the ACC host’s home, the herd will face Saint-Joseph, Villanova and the Yellow Jackets for a total of five games. Villanova finished last season 37-15 overall and 15-2 in the Grand Est. The Wildcats won the Big East title, then went 1-2 to the Arizona Regionals, with the victory over the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC).
Marshall’s second start-of-season tournament takes place at the home of future Sun Belt foe Coastal Carolina from February 18-20 for five games. The herd will play against South Carolina, South Carolina and Fordham. All three teams finished with more than 20 wins last season. Fordham was 37-10, 17-3 in the Atlantic 10. The Rams lost in the conference tournament to future champions George Washington. South Carolina fell in the second round of the SEC tournament to 16th in LSU before the Tigers hosted an NCAA regional and played Florida State in the super regions.
The Herd’s third road tournament early in the season takes Marshall to Buies Creek, NC, to Campbell University for five more games, Feb. 25-27. The Herd is expected to play Campbell, Kent State and Howard. Host Chamels won 28 games last season and won the Big South title. Campbell went 1-2 at Oklahoma State Regional with a victory over Boston University and losses to No. 5s in Oklahoma State and Mississippi. Kent State features sophomore pitcher Jessica LeBeau, who threw more than 200 strikeouts in her 2021 freshman campaign and was an All-MAC selection.
As the schedule arrives in March, the herd are expected to play back-to-back home tournaments for a total of 10 games in front of the home crowd at Dot Hicks Field. At the Marshall Round Robin, March 4-6, the herd welcomes Purdue Fort Wayne, Maryland Eastern Shore and Winthrop to Huntington. Purdue Fort Wayne played a schedule in 2021 that was almost exclusively Horizon League games with 35 of the Mastodons’ 39 games as conference competitions. Maryland Eastern Shore did not play in 2021 due to COVID. Winthrop has won over 20 games and is managed by head coach Windy Thees, who was the former head coach of Memphis when the Tigers were a member of Conference USA.
Marshall’s second home tournament, the Thundering Herd Invite, is scheduled for March 11-13 at Dot Hicks Field. Making the trip to Huntington will be Norfolk State, Fairfield and Western Carolina. Marshall played at Norfolk State in two exciting competitions at the start of the 2020 season. Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference’s Fairfield only played championship games in 2021 with a total of 36 games, winning 22. Western Carolina, the program that coach Smith Lyon began in 2005-06, has won over 20 games and lost to UNC Greensboro in the Southern Conference Tournament Championship in 2021.
The herd then spends the remainder of the regular season with a mix of US Conference games and five midweek non-conference clashes against regional enemies. The five non-conference opponents will be at the Ohio Bobcats (March 16), a double program at the Bellarmine Knights (March 22), the Akron Zips (March 29), a double program at the Northern Kentucky Norse (April 12) and finally at home against the Morehead State Eagles (April 20). Ohio played 38 MAC games out of 47 total in 2021. Bellarmine played his first season in Division I last year and came to Huntington for a three-game streak. The Zips ended up playing 40 MAC games out of 54 in total. Morehead State and Marshall last met in 2019.
The herd has some exciting clashes in Conference USA set up for the 2022 season. C-USA has managed to ensure that each three-game series is played over three days with only one game per day. This is the plan the league made in 2020 before the season was canceled due to the pandemic. Last year, the teams only played in schools in their own division and in a four-game three-day streak.
At home, Marshall will face Middle Tennessee (April 25-27), Charlotte (April 1-3), FIU (April 14-16) and finally UTEP (April 29-May 1) for the senior weekend. The herd will travel to UAB (March 18-20), Florida Atlantic (April 8-10), WKU (April 22-24) and end the regular season in North Texas (May 6-8).
North Texas will also host the Conference USA tournament, May 11-14. The Mean Green last hosted the C-USA postseason tournament in 2016.
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