Feb. 10, 2009
Big Ten Network Spring 2009 Schedule Release (PDF Format)
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Big Ten Network will nationally televise at least six Northwestern softball games during the 2009 season, announced today (Feb. 10) by the Network. Every game will be produced in high definition and broadcast live on the BTN, which is available in more than 70 million homes across the country.
The Big Ten Network's live softball coverage begins with the March 21-22 Michigan at Northwestern series in Evanston. Game one begins at noon CT Saturday, March 21, with game two starting at 1 p.m. CT Sunday, March 22. The Wildcats and Wolverines tied for the Big Ten regular season championship in 2008 before NU went on to capture the Big Ten Tournament title. Both teams entered the 2009 season ranked in the top-10 of the USA Today/NFCA coaches poll.
Live Wildcat softball coverage continues with NU's April 8 doubleheader at Minnesota, followed by Northwestern's April 15 double-dip versus Iowa at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. The Network will broadcast 25 Big Ten softball games this spring, with the final two on May 8-9 to be determined at a later date once the conference standings begin to shake themselves out.
Several originally publicized game times have been changed for the live television broadcasts. NU's March 21 contest against Michigan has been moved up from its original 1 p.m. CT start while the April 8 doubleheader at Minnesota will begin at 2 p.m. CT instead of 4 p.m. CT.
Including its 2009 schedule, the Big Ten Network will have broadcast more than 50 softball games in HD since its inception in August of 2007, making the Big Ten the most nationally televised softball conference in the country. With its six currently scheduled games this year, Northwestern will have played at least 13 games on the Big Ten Network -- most in the conference. The Wildcats won both their Big Ten regular season and tournament championships live on the BTN in 2008.
During the Kate Drohan era at Northwestern, the Wildcats have played 24 nationally televised games, including 13 on the ESPN family of networks. Several other contests have been regionally broadcast in Hawaii or on various Fox Sports Net affiliates.
Combined with NU's six games currently on the 2009 BTN schedule, the Wildcats' senior class will play at least 27 games on national TV during their careers at NU. In the past three seasons NU softball has played on a nationally available ESPN network 11 times, third most among Wildcat varsity programs behind football (19) and men's basketball (13).
For the complete 2009 Big Ten Network baseball and softball schedules and announcement, download the .pdf at the top of this page.