JERSEY CITY, NJ - The Saint Peter's University softball team and head coach Chris Stelma have announced the 50-game, 2018 season schedule. The Peacock's slate will feature 20 games at Jaroschak Field and the team will compete in four non-conference tournaments this season.
"Our non-conference schedule is more competitive this year compared to last year," said Stelma. "Having the proper amount of time in my second year to do scheduling gave us the opportunity to not only play more games, but also to have a more consistent competition schedule, which will help us in conference play. We had the ability to get started two weeks earlier this year and will go into conference play with more games under our belts."
The Peacocks open the season in the Coppin State Eagles Classic from March 3-4. On the morning of March 3, the team will take on Morgan State on their home pitch before heading to tournament host site, Coppin State, to face Hartford in the afternoon. On March 4, the Peacocks will play against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival, Rider in the morning, and the team closes out the classic against host, Coppin State in the afternoon.
The softball team travels to Johnson City, Tennessee next, to play in the East Tennessee State (ETSU) Buccaneer Classic from March 9-10. The classic begins for the Peacocks on the 9th and 10th with meetings against Jackson State, followed by matchups with ETSU on both days. On the 11th, Saint Peter's will go head-to-head with Austin Peay.
After a week off, the team returns to the diamond for two tournaments and eight games at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland on March 17-18 and March 24-25. The Peacocks will first participate in the UMBC Dawg Pound, facing Drexel on March 17, La Salle on March 17 and 18, and Sacred Heart on March 18. In between the two tournaments, Saint Peter's will return to New Jersey for its home opener, a doubleheader against Lafayette on March 22. Two days later, the Peacocks travel back to Baltimore for the UMBC Retriever Classic, for a doubleheader against UMBC on March 24 and a doubleheader with Binghamton on March 25.
The squad will head back to New Jersey for a two-game series at Fairleigh Dickinson on March 27. The Peacocks then host Drexel on March 29 with a doubleheader on tap. The team closes out the month of March with the MAAC opening series at Iona on March 31.
The team begins the month of April at Columbia on April 4, before playing the next 18 games in New Jersey, including 14 total home games with a stretch of 10 straight games at Jaroschak Field. First, the Peacocks play four in a row at home starting with a MAAC series against Fairfield on April 8 followed by a two-game non-conference series with Wagner on April 10. The team then travels to hOURglass Rivals, Rider and Monmouth (both New Jersey Schools) for MAAC doubleheaders on April 14 (at Rider) and April 15 (at Monmouth). The 10-game home stand starts with two doubleheaders with non-conference opponents in Drexel on April 17 and UMES on April 18. The Peacocks then welcome Canisius and Niagara for MAAC series on April 21 (Canisius) and April 22 (Niagara). The squad closes out the stanza with a doubleheader versus Coppin State. On April 25 also closing out the non-conference season. Saint Peter's closes out the month with MAAC series at Siena on April 28 and at Marist on April 29.
May features Manhattan visiting Jersey City on May 2 for a doubleheader and concludes the regular season with a road trip to Connecticut to face Quinnipiac for a two-game MAAC series on May 6.
The season will conclude with the MAAC Softball Championship from May 9-12. The six team, double elimination tournament will be hosted by the number one seed.
"We expect continued improvement," added Stelma. "With some renovations to our facilities and the addition of a few new resources, we expect to come out much more competitive this year. We have nine returners who have another year under their belt as well as eight newcomers. Four players came in from Junior Colleges with college experience and the other four are freshman. We expect to continue to grow as a program while putting more wins up on the board. We also expect to have a little more success in conference this year. These girls continue to work every day and we get better one workout at a time."
For the complete schedule and first pitch times, visit saintpeterspeacocks.com.