Nov. 15, 2007
Northwestern's 2008 Schedule
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Continuing its tradition of facing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, Northwestern and head coach Kate Drohan have announced the Wildcats' 2008 slate, which is again heavy on marquee match-ups against the country's best and brightest.
In 2006, Northwestern faced the eighth-toughest schedule in the country and earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats bested that in 2007, taking on the nation's fourth-rated schedule (according to fullysports.com) and earning a program-best No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA field of 64.
Northwestern's 2008 campaign features 14 games against teams in the top-25 of last year's final NCAA RPI (28 percent of the schedule), 21 games against the top 50 (42 percent) and 39 against the top 100 (78 percent). Only three of NU's scheduled 50 games come against teams outside the top 150 in last year's final RPI breakdown.
Twenty-three games are scheduled against 2007 NCAA Tournament teams, nine are slated against Super Regional qualifiers and three will come versus programs that joined Northwestern at the 2007 Women's College World Series.
The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back trips to the WCWS semifinals, finishing second in 2006 and third in 2007. NU is the only private school in NCAA history to accomplish the feat.
The Wildcats kick off 2008 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., from February 15-18, taking on fellow WCWS qualifiers Texas A&M and Arizona in addition to NCAA Tournament teams Southern Utah and Nebraska.
Northwestern returns to the star-studded Palm Springs Classic February 22-24 for dates with 2007 NCAA Tournament foes Oregon, LSU, Texas and UCLA. The Wildcats then head to Carbondale, Ill., for the Coach B Classic at SIU March 1-2 before returning to California March 7-9 for the Long Beach Invitational. There, NU will take on NCAA Tourney teams Cal State Fullerton, Virginia Tech and UCLA again.
Spring Break 2008 will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Bank of Hawaii Invitational. While in the Islands, Northwestern will play NCAA Tournament team California and Super Regional qualifier Hawaii during pool play of the event.
The Big Ten season kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday, March 28, against Wisconsin at the brand new Sharon J. Drysdale Field. To view photos and keep up with the Drysdale Field renovations, click here.
Northwestern will play 13 games at Drysdale Field this year.
Chicagoland softball fans will get a treat on April 29 when perennial SEC power and 2006 WCWS participant Alabama ventures north to play both Northwestern and DePaul at the Blue Devils' digs in Lincoln Park. The Wildcats and Tide play at 1 p.m. CT, while 2007 WCWS qualifiers DePaul and NU square off at 5 p.m.
For Northwestern's complete 2008 schedule, click here.