WINTER PARK, Fla. (January 26, 2018) – The Tars begins their 2017 campaign the first weekend in February when, for the second season in a row, they visit Gulf Shores, Alabama for the Gulf Shores Invitational.
Rollins will be looking to return to the NCAA Tournament after missing the postseason for just the second time since 2007. The Blue and Gold returns 11 players from last year's squad including six everyday starters. Kacie Booth, Brianne Lint, and Chandler Middlebrook will look to provide leadership as the trio of seniors on the squad. While returners Grace Street, and Erin Crawford will partner with newcomer Abby Summers to form the Tars' pitching staff.
Head Coach Michelle Frew will begin her 22nd season at the helm of the Tars this season. The Eckerd graduate needs just 11 wins for her 900th career victory, and just 29 wins to for her 800th in the Blue and Gold.
The Tars have been selected in a tie with Embry-Riddle for fourth place in the Sunshine State Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
Rollins will face Delta State and Alabama-Huntsville in Gulf Shores on Friday, February 2, to open the 2018 campaign. Rollins downed the Statesmen, 9-0, and the Chargers, 8-2, in this event last season. The Tars' second day of the Invitational will feature West Alabama and the Rollins' first ranked opponent of the year, Lee, who came in at No. 11 in the NFCA Preseason Poll. On the final day, Sunday, February 4, Rollins will close out their time in Alabama against Tuskegee.
The following weekend Rollins will travel to the campus of Flagler University for the South Region Crossover. While there they will sandwich another game against West Alabama between two contests against No. 7 North Georgia. The Tars will close the crossover with a doubleheader against the host Saints.
Friday, February 16 will be the home opener for Rollins, as they will start a three game series against preseason conference favorite Saint Leo. The Lions start the year at No. 23, coming off a 37-15 season, a second straight SSC Championship, and a NCAA Tournament appearance. Rollins will remain at home the following Tuesday, February 20, for a nighttime doubleheader with Adelphi; the Panthers are receiving votes in the National Preseason Poll.
Rollins will continue conference play the next week with a visit to Tampa. The Spartans took two of three from the Tars in Winter Park last season. Rollins will return from their trip and turn around quickly, as they host Kentucky State on that Sunday.
The next weekend brings another challenging opponent to Rollins Softball Stadium, as SSC foe Palm Beach Atlantic comes to town. The Sailfish are receiving votes in the NFCA Poll. The Tars will remain at home for the next week, as they host a pair of double headers; on Monday March 8 they face Tiffin, then on Thursday, March 10, they host Southwest Minnesota State.
March 9 sends the Tars to Lakeland where they will face a three game set against rival Florida Southern. The Tars swept the Mocs in the 2017 campaign.
The Tars will head to Clermont to participate in the PFX Spring Games on Tuesday, March 13. They will face Quincy and Bloomsburg, a NCAA Tournament participant last season. Rollins then returns to their home field on March 15, as they close out their nonconference schedule with a doubleheader against Southern Connecticut State.
Rollins closes the regular season with a bevy of SSC matchups, starting with a home series against Eckerd on March 23 and 24. The Tars will close out the month with a trip to Melbourne to take on the Panthers of Florida Tech.
April brings a trip to the team the Tars were locked with in the Preseason Conference Poll, the Embry-Riddle Eagles. Rollins will return home on April 14 to begin a three game set with Nova Southeastern. Rollins will take to the road for last time with a trip to Boca Raton and a duel with the Lynn Fighting Knights. Finally, the Tars will complete the SSC gauntlet at home, by taking on the Barry Buccaneers.
The NCAA Regional tournament is set to begin on May 11. The 2018 NCAA National Championship will take place in Salem, Virginia once again, with competition starting on May 24.
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