The Maneater

Mizzou Softball Stadium will host the SEC Tournament this year

The Tigers’ 2018 schedule includes a home tournament and 13 non-tournament home games.

Braxton Burnside in a game against Butler last season. The sophomore will be a key component of this year's team. Maneater File Photo

The Missouri softball team will host the Southeastern Conference Tournament, the team announced Friday with the release of its 2018 schedule. It is the first time Mizzou will host the tournament since joining the SEC in 2012.

The tournament will be played at Mizzou Softball Stadium, the new facility that opened March 3 of last season with the Mizzou Tournament. The team will host the same tournament the first weekend of March again and is set to play six games in the span of three days at home.

The SEC Tournament will be held May 8-12. According to the SEC website, the softball tournament will be the only Mizzou-hosted conference championship this season. Last year, the Tigers were eliminated on the first day of the tournament in a game against LSU that was the culmination of a lackluster 29-28 season which included a 7-16 record in SEC play. The 2016 team went 42-16, so the 2018 season will determine whether last season was an anomaly or the direction the team is heading.

24 tournament games will start off the season for the Tigers before their first non-tournament game on March 9 at Tennessee. Like last year, the team will play in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic and the Mizzou Tournament but will start the season with two new tournaments: the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, and the Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Invitational in Clearwater, Florida.

Non-tournament opponents for the upcoming season are more similar than different compared to last season’s schedule. The Tigers will play series against big opponents like Auburn and LSU again, adding series against Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia this year after not facing them in 2017. Arkansas, Western Illinois, Wichita State, SEMO and Illinois are among the repeated opponents.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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