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The WKU softball team cheers from the dugout after a successful bunt from Kennedy Sullivan against North Texas on Sunday. The Hilltoppers went on to win 8-0, advancing their conference record to 12-3.

With a productive fall campaign in the books, WKU softball head coach Amy Tudor and her staff have announced the upcoming 2020 spring slate.

The Hilltoppers' combination of nine new faces and 11 returners will take the field 51 times throughout the regular season while looking to secure one of eight spots in the Conference USA Tournament, which will be hosted in Bowling Green from May 6-9.

“We are excited to announce our 2020 schedule and look forward to competing against quality competition both in and out of conference,” Tudor said in a release. “We hope to see our fans at as many games as possible.”

The WKU softball team will take on four squads that appeared in the NCAA Tournament a year ago — Lipscomb, Chattanooga, Kentucky and Louisiana Tech — and will host 27 contests at the WKU Softball Complex this spring.

In total, the Hilltoppers will cross paths with 27 different teams during the regular season. The 51-game regular-season slate will kick off with a trip south to Troy, Alabama, for the Trojan Classic.

Play will begin against Lipscomb on Feb. 7 followed by a tilt with College of Charleston. On the second day, WKU will face off with North Florida and Troy before a second meeting with UNF on Sunday.

Opponent

Date

Time

Conference

Lipscomb

Friday, Feb. 7

10 a.m.

Atlantic Sun

College of Charleston

Friday, Feb. 7

12:30 p.m.

Colonial

North Florida

Saturday, Feb. 8

9 a.m.

Atlantic Sun

Troy

Saturday, Feb. 8

2 p.m.

Sun Belt

North Florida

Sunday, Feb. 9

10 a.m.

Atlantic Sun

The second weekend of the 2020 slate features a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where WKU will open weekend action with Friday tilts against Ohio and Chattanooga.

Day two from the Chatt Challenge features matchups with Tennessee Tech and Lipscomb before the Hilltoppers close play against Bowling Green on Sunday.

Opponent

Date

Time

Conference

Ohio

Friday, Feb. 14

10 a.m.

Mid-American

Chattanooga

Friday, Feb. 14

3 p.m.

SoCon

Tennessee Tech

Saturday, Feb. 15

10 a.m.

Ohio Valley

Lipscomb

Saturday, Feb. 15

12:30 p.m.

Atlantic Sun

Bowling Green

Sunday, Feb. 16

9 a.m.

Mid-American

For the third weekend of the campaign, Tudor and company will stay home and host their first of two tournaments for the 2020 season, as Green Bay, Indiana State and Ball State come to town. The Hilltopper Classic will mark the first five of 14 straight home games for the Hilltoppers.

Opponent

Date

Time

Conference

Green Bay

Friday, Feb. 21

3 p.m.

Horizon

Indiana State

Friday, Feb. 21

5:30 p.m.

Missouri Valley

Ball State

Saturday, Feb. 22

12:30 p.m.

Mid-American

TBD (1 vs. 4/2 vs. 3)

Saturday, Feb. 22

3/5:30 p.m.

 

TBD (Cons./Champ.)

Sunday, Feb. 23

11 a.m./1:30 p.m.

 

Remaining home for the second of three straight weekends, the Hilltoppers will welcome IUPUI, Illinois State and Austin Peay to the Hill for the Hilltopper Spring Fling.

Opponent

Date

Time

Conference

IUPUI

Friday, Feb. 28

3 p.m.

Horizon

Illinois State

Friday, Feb. 28

5:30 p.m.

Missouri Valley

Austin Peay

Saturday, Feb. 29

12:30 p.m.

Ohio Valley

TBD (1 vs. 4/2 vs. 3)

Saturday, Feb. 29

3/5:30 p.m.

 

TBD (Cons./Champ.)

Sunday, March 1

11 a.m./1:30 p.m.

 

Of the 15 different teams the Hilltoppers will face before reaching their first C-USA opponent in 2020, WKU will face squads from eight different conferences.

Already a month into the season, WKU will host a midweek tilt against Belmont when the Bruins come to town on March 4. During their remaining non-conference games, the Hilltoppers will have a marquee home matchup against in-state rival Kentucky on March 25.

Remaining Non-Conference Games

Opponent (Conference)

Date

Time

Location

Belmont (Ohio Valley)

Wednesday, March 4

6 p.m.

Bowling Green

UT Arlington (Sun Belt)

Tuesday, March 10

6 p.m.

Arlington, Texas

Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley)

Tuesday, March 18

6 p.m.

Bowling Green

Kentucky (SEC)

Wednesday, March 25

6 p.m.

Bowling Green

Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun)

Wednesday, April 1

6 p.m.

Bowling Green

Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley)

Wednesday, April 8

6 p.m.

Bowling Green

Evansville (Missouri Valley)

Tuesday, April 28

6 p.m.

Evansville, Indiana

Two days after WKU wraps up non-conference play, Middle Tennessee State will make the trip up to open league play against the Hilltoppers.

New for the 2020 season, all C-USA series will switch to a three-day series with one game scheduled each day. For WKU’s four home series, first pitches are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Fridays, 2 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sundays.

WKU's remaining conference slate includes trips to North Texas, Florida Atlantic, Texas-San Antonio and Charlotte. The Hilltoppers will also host Marshall, Florida International and LA Tech on the year.

C-USA Series

Opponent

Date

Time

Location

Middle Tennessee

Fri. - Sun., March 6-8

6 p.m./2 p.m./1 p.m.

Bowling Green

North Texas

Fri. - Sun., March 13-15

6 p.m./2 p.m./Noon

Denton, Texas

Marshall

Fri. - Sun., March 20-22

6 p.m./2 p.m./1 p.m.

Bowling Green

FIU

Fri. - Sun., March 27-29

6 p.m./2 p.m./1 p.m.

Bowling Green

Florida Atlantic

Fri. - Sun., April 3-5

5 p.m./4 p.m./11 a.m.

Boca Raton, Florida

UTSA

Fri. - Sun., April 17-19

6 p.m./1 p.m./1 p.m.

San Antonio, Texas

Louisiana Tech

Fri. - Sun., April 24-26

6 p.m./2 p.m./1 p.m.

Bowling Green

Charlotte

Fri. - Sun., May 1-3

4 p.m./Noon/10 a.m.

Charlotte, North Carolina

For the first time since joining C-USA, WKU will host the league’s tournament. The Hilltoppers will have their sights set on making their fourth straight trip to the postseason event and fifth in the last six seasons.

If the Hilltoppers make the eight-team postseason event, they will be the first host in six seasons to qualify for the event. The last team to compete in the event on its home field was FAU in 2014.

In total, WKU will face squads from 10 different conferences in 2020. WKU has faced at least one team out of the SEC every season since the program's inception in 2000.

Eleven squads on the Hilltoppers' 2020 slate won 30-plus games last year, with three more posting 40-win campaigns. WKU will face 15 teams that posted winning records a year ago.

Sports Editor Drake Kizer can be reached at clinton.kizer287@topper.wku.edu. Follow Drake on Twitter at @drakekizer_.

Drake Kizer is the sports editor of the College Heights Herald. He previously covered spring football, the women's basketball team and worked on the features staff.