LADY CHAPS ENTER SEASON RANKED #2 NATIONALLYJan. 18, 2013
The four-time defending Sooner Athletic Conference regular season champion, Lubbock Christian University Lady Chaparrals, have finalized their 2013 softball schedule. The No.2 Lady Chaps will open the 2013 season Friday, Feb. 1 with a 10:00 a.m. contest against Eastern New Mexico in San Antonio to also open a tournament hosted by Saint Mary's. Their home opener at PlainsCapital Park is set for Friday, March 22nd with a Sooner Athletic Conference doubleheader against Saint Gregory's University.
LCU will have 20 games at home this season with Texas-Permian Basin (Apr. 2) and University of the Southwest (April 27th) serving as the only non-conference opponents coming to the Hub City. The Lady Chaps will participate in four tournaments this season, with two hosted by Saint Mary's University (Feb. 1-3, Feb. 22-23). They will once again compete in the Cowtown Classic (Fort Worth, Feb. 15-16) and in the Tucson Invitational Games in Arizona for a fifth consecutive season, playing 13 games from March 11-15.
Conference play will begin Thursday, March 7th for the Lady Chaps, as they travel to Shawnee, OK to face Oklahoma Baptist University for a four-game series. LCU will play 24 SAC games this season, split with 16 at home and eight on the road. The Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament is scheduled for May 3-4 at Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.
There are several changes with the NAIA's postseason in 2013. Like other team sports, softball will implement an Opening Round series in the NAIA National Championships with 10 campus sites hosting Opening Round games (May 13-15) leading to a 10-team final site tournament billed as the 33rd Annual Softball National Championships at South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, GA.
LCU is coming off a 56-8 season last year and their second SAC title. The sixth year program has compiled a 276-44 (.863) record in their opening five seasons and has seen their season come to an end at the NAIA National Championships each season. They won the national championship in their inaugural season in 2008. This season marks the third season with head coach Daren Hays at the helm. Hays is in an elite class in the NAIA, as he stands as one of the few coaches (and maybe the only coach) who has at least 100 career wins in softball and baseball at the same university. He holds a 108-20 coaching record and needs seven wins to pass his brother, Shanon, as the winningest coach in program history.