ATHENS, Ohio– The reigning Mid-American Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champion Ohio Softball team has released its 2019 schedule, first-year head coach Kenzie Roark announced today (Dec. 10). The Bobcats will face off against nine teams that also saw action in the 2018 NCAA Tournament including; Kennesaw State, South Carolina, UNC Greensboro, BYU, Long Beach State, Saint Francis (Pa.), Mississippi State, Ohio State and Liberty.
The Bobcats will open the season Feb. 8-10 when they head to Kennesaw, Ga. for the Phyllis Rafter Memorial. While there, the Bobcats will take on Eastern Illinois, UT Chattanooga, Morehead State and host Kennesaw State.
The following week, Ohio will head to Columbia S.C. for the 2019 Gamecock Invitational Feb. 15-17. While there, the Bobcats will square off with host South Carolina, UNC Greensboro, Campbell and UNC Charlotte. Feb. 22-24 will see Ohio head to Chattanooga, Tenn. for the 2019 Chattanooga Frost Classic where the Bobcats will see Southern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, UT Chattanooga, Evansville and Creighton.
Wednesday, Feb. 27 will see the Bobcats head to Huntington, W. Va. for a mid-week battle with Marshall. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
March 1-3 will see Ohio head back down south to Durham and Raleigh, N.C. for the 2019 Duke Invitational. While there Ohio will face off with Charleston Southern, Mississippi State, Campbell and Duke.
Ohio will then head west for the 2018 UCLA/Long Beach State Invitational March 8-10 where the Bobcats will play five games in three days at both the UCLA and Long Beach State campuses. While there, the Bobcats will see action against BYU, Robert Morris, San Diego State, Long Beach State and Liberty.
The Bobcats will then head to Bloomington, Ill. for the 2019 Hoosier Classic, March 15-17. While there, Ohio will face off with Indiana and St. Francis (Pa.). Ohio will then head to Pittsburgh, Pa. to meet up with Pitt on March 19. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
The Bobcats will finally return home to the Ohio Softball Field on Friday, March 22 when Ohio opens MAC play against Bowling Green. The Bobcats will play seven-straight games at home starting with the Falcons on March 22 for a single game starting at 3 p.m. Ohio will then close out the three-game series on Saturday, March 23, with a doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m.
Ohio will break from MAC play to host Northern Kentucky on Tuesday, March 26 for a 4 p.m. non-conference tilt, before returning to conference play on Friday, March 29 when they host Northern Illinois in a rematch of last season's MAC Tournament Championship game. Game time is set for 3 p.m. Ohio will then close out the home stand on Saturday, March 20 against NIU in a doubleheader set to begin at 1 pm.
Ohio will then hit the road to Kent, Ohio for a mid-week doubleheader with Kent State on Tuesday, April 2. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Following their trip to Kent, the Bobcats will then head to Mount Pleasant, Mich. for a MAC West series against Central Michigan. The Bobcats open the series with CMU on Friday, April 5 at 3 p.m., and will finish the series on Saturday, April 6, with a doubleheader scheduled for 1 p.m.
Ohio will then head back to Athens to conclude the three-game series with Kent State on Wednesday, April 10. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at the OSF.
The Bobcats will stay with MAC play on Friday, April 12 when Ohio heads to Akron, Ohio to face off with Akron. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Ohio will then wrap up the series on Saturday, April 13 with a doubleheader against the Zips. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Ohio will conclude non-conference play on Tuesday, April 16 when they head to Columbus, Ohio to battle Ohio State. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. Last season, the Bobcats defeated the Buckeyes, 7-0, in Columbus.
The Bobcats will then wrap up the home portion of with schedule April 26-27 when Ohio hosts Miami. The Bobcats will face off with the RedHawks on Friday, April 26 at 3 p.m., and will conclude the series on Saturday, April 27 with a doubleheader at the OSF that is set for 1 p.m.
Ohio will conclude the regular season on the road when they head Buffalo, N.Y. May 3-4. The Bobcats and Bulls will face off at 3 p.m. on Friday May 3, before concluding the series on Saturday, May 4 with a doubleheader set for 1 p.m.
The Bobcats will then head to Akron, Ohio looking to defend their 2018 MAC Tournament title. The 2019 MAC Tournament will take place May 8-11 at Firestone Stadium.
The 2019 NCAA Regionals are set for May 17-19 at campus sites, with the 2019 NCAA Super Regionals scheduled for May 24-26, also at Campus Sites. The 2019 Women's College World Series will take play May 30-June 4 at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Bobcats are coming off of the best season in program history, going 40-17 overall and 20-3 in MAC play. The Bobcats won the regular season crown for the first time since 1995 and was the 2018 MAC Tournament Champions, earning the title for the first time since 2014. Ohio would then go to the NCAA Knoxville Regional, advancing to the regional finals for the first time in program history.