CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Toledo softball team will commence the 2013 season with five games at the Frost Classic on Friday-Sunday, Feb. 22-24 in Chattanooga, TN. UT will open with a doubleheader on Friday against Northern Kentucky at 1:15 p.m. and North Carolina Central at 3:30 p.m., followed by a Saturday twinbill versus Missouri State at 11:00 a.m. and Eastern Kentucky at 1:15 p.m. and a Sunday morning contest against Boston College at 10:00 a.m. at Frost Stadium.
UT is seeking their first win in a season opener under fourth-year head coach Tarrah Beyster, while returning 11 letterwinners from last year's squad that qualified for the Mid-American Conference tournament for the first time in 16 years. Toledo also recorded more regular-season wins in 2012 (18), than the previous three years combined (16).
Despite the improvement, the Midnight Blue & Gold has been picked to finish sixth in the MAC West Division in 2013 after a vote from the league's head coaches.
The Rockets are also going for their first win in the Frost Classic after going winless in the 2011 and 2009 tournaments.
Beyster expects sophomore left-hander Alli Beery (5-12, 6.71 ERA, 108.2 IP, 46 K's in 2012) and freshman right-hander Marla Gooding to handle the pitching duties. Senior OF Lindsey Tobias (All-MAC First Team; .344 BA, 8 HR, 42 RBI in 2012) and junior utility-specialist Erinn Wright (.299 BA, 3 HR, 15 RBI in 2011) will charge the middle of Beyster's lineup.
NKU and 15th-year head coach Kathy Stewart are 0-4 in their first year as a Division I competitor and are coming off an opening weekend at the Panther Invitational in Georgia. The Norse showed power at the plate with five home runs in four games, while pitcher Emily Schwaeble struck out 11 batters against Presbyterian.
N.C. Central and second-year head coach Theresa Stephens are 0-6 in 2013, while dropping a doubleheader to Longwood in their last time out on Feb. 12.
Missouri State and 25th-year leader Holly Hesse are 4-6 on the season and most recently defeated Texas-San Antonio 10-2 in five innings.
EKU and 21st-year head coach Jane Worthington enter the weekend with a 3-1 record after victories over Mercer, Ball State and Liberty at the KSU Classic in Woodstock, Georgia last weekend.
Boston College and second-year head coach Ashley Obrest will also open their 2013 campaign this weekend. The Eagles finished 23-30 in 2012 and were picked to finish eighth in the 2013 ACC Preseason Coaches' Poll. UT and BC last met on March 6, 2009 with the Eagles claiming an 11-2 victory.
Following this weekend's action, UT will journey to Clearwater, FL on its Spring Break Trip from March 1 to March 10.