ISU softball schedule set

Iowa State's 2006 softball schedule has been finalized and will be highlighted by tournaments at Bethune Cookman, Charleston Southern, Florida State, Houston and Stetson in addition to an 16 -game Big 12 schedule and the conference tournament May 10-13 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

"The schedule will give us an opportunity to come together as a team while allowing us to play against top competition," said first-year head coach Stacy Gemeinhardt. "The Big 12 schedule is always tough and we felt that to be prepared for the conference season we needed to challenge ourselves with good tournaments early in the season."

The schedule, which also features two games against intrastate rivals Drake, Iowa and Northern Iowa, will welcome Big 12 foes Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri to Ames for doubleheaders.

The season opens at the Florida State Tournament in Tallahassee, Fla. from Feb. 17-19. The Cyclones' opponents for the tournament have not been announced.

ISU will travel to the Crowne Plaza Classic Tournament in Houston, Texas the following weekend. The Cyclones will open the tournament with games against 2005 NCAA tournament qualifiers, Wichita State and BYU.

The Cyclones will play 16 games at the Southwest Athletic Complex in Ames with North Dakota State and South Dakota State on the home slate in addition to the intrastate schools. Admission to all home games is free.

ISU returns 13 players from last season including junior Katie Reichling, who hit .325 to lead the Cyclones last season. The Cyclones also return their top three pitchers while welcoming six newcomers to the team.

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