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Oracle insight: Top five days of the semester

Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 12:01


As a new semester begins, The Oracle picks the top five days on the athletics calendar:

5. Feb. 22

After missing the Big East tournament with a 25-29 record last season, the Bulls baseball team opens its season in Clearwater at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge before coming to campus for a long home stand beginning with the home opener Feb. 22.

Entering its second season, the USF Baseball Stadium will host 23 games in a 24-game stretch through April 3.

4. Feb. 10

Last season, the USF softball team climbed into the national rankings on the strength of a dominant pitching staff before the season fizzled out with a loss in the Big East Tournament.

With another strong recruiting class in hand, the Bulls open their season at the USF Softball Stadium on Feb. 10 with a game against Maine at 1:45 p.m. before playing Florida Gulf Coast at 4 p.m.

3. Feb. 11

The softball team hosts back-to-back games against Long Island and Illinois State in the USF Tournament Competition beginning at 1:45 p.m. at the USF Softball Stadium.

The women's basketball team hosts Villanova in the nightcap in the nearby Campus Recreation Center, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. The men's basketball team will also be competing that afternoon with a road game against Providence set to start at 4 p.m.

In addition, the women's tennis team could be competing at the ITA National Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va.

2. March 18

With six sports in action and the potential for a seventh, this will be one of the busiest nights of the semester.

The women's golf, men's golf and sailing teams will all be competing away from campus before the men's tennis team gets things started at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts with a match against Winthrop at noon.

Once that match is over, fans should head to the USF Baseball/Softball Complex as both teams will be in action simultaneously on either side of the stadium. The baseball team wraps up a series against Lafayette at 1 p.m., while the softball team hosts Florida State half an hour later.

Should the women's basketball team qualify for the NCAA Tournament, the Bulls could play a first-round game on this day.

1. March 7

The Oracle's pick for the best day of the new semester is March 7, with three teams playing four games.

The day starts at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts as the women's tennis team hosts Boston College at 2 p.m.

From there, fans can head to the USF Softball Stadium to watch the Bulls play Central Michigan at 5 p.m. Once that game wraps up, fans will have one of the most unique decisions in the country to make as both the softball and baseball teams compete under the lights at 7 p.m. on either side of the complex. Baseball hosts Jacksonville, while the softball team will have a rematch against Central Michigan.

Savvy fans may choose to watch the action from the Donaldson Deck, the raised platform that overlooks both fields, and switch over between innings.

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