Familiar faces and places along with plenty of challenging foes litter the schedule for Northwestern State softball in the 2023 season.
Head coach Donald Pickett announced the five-tournament weekend and eight-conference series slate that await the Lady Demons this upcoming season.
NSU opens the 2023 campaign with back-to-back road tournament weekends starting in Huntsville, Texas at the Bearkat Classic hosted by former Southland Conference foe Sam Houston. They make their return to the Mardi Gras Mambo the following week in Youngsville, La., one of the annual elite softball tournaments in the region.
“We’re going to be on the road a little bit up front in some really competitive tournaments,” Pickett said. “We’re going to get a good mix of schools and quality opponents during all of those tournament weekends that I think will really prepare us for the conference schedule.”
After the Feb. 22 home opener against Grambling, the Lady Demons head to Denton, Texas for the North Texas Invitational. NSU will return to Memphis for the second straight year in mid-March where they will face the Tigers and Big 10 opponent Indiana to round out the tournament season.
The month of March will begin though with two straight home weekends for NSU in the annual Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission Lady Demon Classic the first weekend (March 3-5) and the Southland opening series with Lamar the next (March 10-11).
Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Jackson State will join NSU in the round-robin tournament at the Lady Demon Diamond.
“We always look forward to our home tournament,” Pickett said. “This year it’s the weekend before our first conference series of the year. Excited for the chance to have everyone come out two weeks in a row early in March. Hopefully it will be warm enough, and we can have a bunch of people out that can help us create some momentum heading into the bulk of the conference schedule.”
NSU filled its lone conference bye weekend with the trip to Memphis following the opening series with Lamar. The Lady Demons resume Southland play after the trip to the Home of the Blues with a road series at Nicholls (March 24-25).
The three other road conference series of the year take NSU to defending champion McNeese (April 7-8), UIW (April 14-15) and SLC newcomer Texas A&M-Commerce (April 28-29).
NSU does not have back-to-back home conference series in 2023, and just one home series in the month of April. They host HCU (March 31-April 1), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (April 21-22) and Southeastern (May 5-6).
The Lady Demons will also play a pair of home-and-home series with in-state foes Grambling and Louisiana Tech. NSU goes to Grambling on April 11 and to Ruston on March 14. Tech makes the trip to Natchitoches on March 28.
The Southland Conference Tournament will take place May 9-12 in Lake Charles at Joe Miller Field at Cowgirl Diamond.
VIP season tickets for NSU softball are available for $75 (chair backs) and $55 (general admission bleacher).
Single-game tickets will go on sale Feb. 1. For more information, visit www.nsutickets.com or call 318-357-4268.