GGC softball releases 2014 schedule

The Georgia Gwinnett softball team and head coach Kat Ihlenburg have released the team’s 2014 spring schedule that will test the Grizzlies in their second season overall and first competing for postseason championships.

The slate features 55 total games, including 24 at home in Lawrenceville.

The Grizzlies also will host the 2014 Association of Independent Institutions Championship Tournament, May 1-3 at the Grizzly Softball Complex, guaranteeing GGC a postseason appearance this year.

Georgia Gwinnett will kick off its season Feb. 7-9 at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Spring Opener Tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla., where GGC will play five games over three days.

The Grizzlies’ first games in Lawrenceville come Feb. 24 against Cumberland University (Tenn.) as the team begins its first full home slate at the Grizzly Softball Complex. GGC will play a pair of home games in February, 14 in March and eight more in April leading up to postseason action.

“We look forward to playing many high-caliber opponents to prepare us for our goal of winning the A.I.I. championship,” said Ihlenburg. “We will face a lot of tough competition, especially on the road, that will get us ready for the postseason in May. We also begin this year much differently than last year with our tremendous home facility being completed and we are very grateful to play there this year.”

Ihlenburg’s squad will tackle the program’s first NCAA Division I opponent this year, facing Alcorn State University on March 15 as part of the William Carey University Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss.

The Grizzlies’ schedule also features a Spring Hill College (Ala.) team that reached the 2013 NAIA Softball National Championship game. GGC will face three squads that reached last year’s national tournament- Spring Hill, Virginia Intermont and Cumberland.

Georgia Gwinnett also will face NCAA Division III opponents Agnes Scott College and Birmingham-Southern College.

Just 10 games will be played against in-state opponents (Agnes Scott, Coastal Georgia and Emmanuel) on the season. The Grizzlies will be well-traveled, as their road slate takes them through Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Alabama.

Georgia Gwinnett returns 10 players from its inaugural squad and adds eight newcomers into the mix.

“We have a great group of five seniors that I am confident will lead us in the best direction on and off the field in 2014,” Ihlenburg added.

Feb. 7 vs. Daytona State Daytona Beach, Fla.1 p.m.

Feb. 7at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach, Fla.5 p.m.

Feb. 8vs. Southeastern Daytona Beach, Fla.12 p.m.

vs. Mobile Daytona Beach, Fla. 2 p.m.

02/09/14 at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach, Fla. 10 a.m.

02/15/14 at Columbia (S.C.) (DH) Columbia, S.C. 1 p.m.

02/16/14 at Voorhees (DH) Denmark, S.C. 1 p.m.

02/24/14 vs. Cumberland (Tenn.) (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 3 p.m.

03/01/14 vs. Bryan (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 3 p.m.

03/04/14 at Agnes Scott (DH) Decatur, Ga. 5 p.m.

03/07/14 vs. Columbia (S.C.) (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 1 p.m.

03/09/14 vs. Virginia Intermont (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 1 p.m.

03/10/14 vs. St. Andrews (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 1 p.m.

William Carey Tournament

03/14/14 at William Carey Hattiesburg, Miss. 10:30 a.m.

vs. Mobile Hattiesburg, Miss. 2:30 p.m.

03/15/14 vs. Spring Hill Hattiesburg, Miss. 12:30 p.m.

vs. Alcorn State Hattiesburg, Miss. 4:30 p.m.

03/18/14vs. Emmanuel (DH) 5 p.m.

03/22/14 at Bryan (DH) Dayton, Tenn. 2 p.m.

03/25/14 at Cumberland (Tenn.) (DH) Lebanon, Tenn. 2 p.m.

03/28/14 vs. Montreat (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 4 p.m.

03/29/14 vs. Birmingham-Southern (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 2 p.m.

04/01/14 vs. Agnes Scott (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 1 p.m.

04/04/14 at Montreat (DH) Montreat, N.C. 4 p.m.

04/06/14 vs. Milligan (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 1 p.m.

04/08/14 at St. Andrews (DH) Laurinburg, N.C. 2 p.m.

04/10/14 vs. Voorhees (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 4 p.m.

04/12/14 at Milligan (DH) Milligan College, Tenn. 2 p.m.

04/13/14 at Virginia Intermont (DH) Bristol, Va. 2 p.m.

04/15/14 at Emmanuel (DH) Franklin Springs, Ga. 5 p.m.

04/19/14 vs. Coastal Georgia (DH) Lawrenceville, Ga. 1 p.m.

04/22/14 at Talladega (DH) Talladega, Ala. 3 p.m.