CLINTON, S.C. – Poised to deliver an exciting encore to the program’s most successful season in the NCAA Division I era last spring, the Presbyterian College softball squad and head coach David Williams announced the team’s 2023 schedule on Wednesday afternoon, awaiting a 49-game layout that will officially begin on February 10. The PC Softball Complex will serve as a recurring backdrop for the Blue Hose over the first month of the season, hosting a grand total of 17 nonconference contests and 26 meetings altogether once the schedule transitions to Big South competition in late-March.
Finishing near the top of the league standings in Williams’ fourth season at the helm, the ’22 Blue Hose shattered the school record books in more ways than one, establishing a new PC high for total victories with 36 while simultaneously winning 19 conference bouts, another all-time Presbyterian best. Embarking on a school-record 14-game winning streak over the first half of the year, the blue and white reached a whopping six All-Big South performers on their way to the conference tournament’s semifinal round, setting new PC bests in collective batting average (.297), on-base percentage (.363), slugging percentage (.466), total bases (603), home runs (47), scores (235), RBI (227), hits (384), doubles (70), strikeouts (401), and shutouts (15).
“We are very much looking forward to starting the 2023 season and taking on the many challenges that lie ahead of us”, remarked Williams. “Our schedule has a wide variety of opponents from several competitive conferences that should rightfully prepare us for the Big South schedule. This team and our staff looks forward to representing Presbyterian on the softball diamond this spring”.
Kicking off their loaded Clinton calendar with each of the first 10 games on the season emanating from their own backyard, coach Williams’ unit will take on Toledo and Bellarmine over the first half of the Pinnacle Blue Hose Invitational on the 10th of February, following up with a one-off versus Maryland-Eastern Shore and second meeting with the Knights 24 hours later.
Presbyterian will make it back-to-back weekends hosting a multi-team tournament, welcoming Seton Hall, IUPUI, and Appalachian State to the Pinnacle PC Invitational from Feb. 17-19. Facing the Pirates and Jaguars that Friday, holding a rematch with SHU on Saturday, then closing the weekend with a single outing vs. the Mountaineers, PC will wrap up their 10-game home stretch on Feb. 22 with the first of 11 double-headers, this one against Western Carolina.
Competing in another non-con tourney, but as one of the visitors during the final weekend of the month, Presbyterian will head south to DeLand, Fla. for the Stetson Invitational where a neutral-site duel with Cornell awaits. PC will end that three-day event with two matchups each on the 25th and 26th, battling North Florida and Stetson on Saturday before round two with the Big Red and the Hatters the next afternoon.
Another lengthy home sequence will be in the cards as the schedule fades into March, with the Blue Hose staying at home for the next seven outings. Buffalo and Queens will each visit Clinton for three total bouts against Coach Williams’ club over a 72-hour window in the Pinnacle Scotsman Invitational, before Furman comes to town on March 7 for a DH.
The next three dates all feature a head-to-head with Queens (meaning four total matches with the Royals over one week), as PC’s Charlotte counterpart heads right back to Clinton for a two-parter on the 11th before the Blue Hose returns the favor at lunchtime the next day. Presbyterian will then prepare for a high-profile road showdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks on March 15 as part of a sequence of six straight games away from home before Big South play begins.
Before the Blue Hose face league opponents the rest of the way – starting with a three-game set against Longwood – PC will participate in one final multi-team tournament in Greenville, NC, tussling with Cleveland State and the Ohio State Buckeyes on a neutral field. March 19 will denote the last day of pre-Big South action, meeting the Vikings once more before taking on host East Carolina immediately thereafter.
All seven conference affairs will be conducted over a two-day period with three games in total against each school. The first of three Big South series to be held at home in the waning days of the month, PC’s league opener with the Lancers will precede another three-game set at Campbell on the first two days of April.
The Highlanders of Radford will visit Presbyterian on the 7th and 8th (all afternoon start-times), before the Blue Hose face both Winthrop and Charleston Southern in consecutive road series over an eight-day cycle. April 29-30 will mark the last home appearances of 2023 for a roster that returns a hefty amount of production from the prior year, welcoming Gardner-Webb.
A short drive to USC Upstate on May 5-6 will officially put a bow on the regular season slate, where the focus will then shift to the Big South Championship in Virginia that begins on the 11th. In the ’23 season, the criteria for entry into the postseason will be very strict, as only four schools out of the eight affiliates will be allowed into the double-elimination bracket.
The complete schedule for a Presbyterian squad entering the year with conference title aspirations can be found at the top of this page.
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