Six early-season tournaments will occupy the FGCU softball team's schedule prior to the start of the Atlantic Sun Conference slate roe 2012, according to the schedule released Monday.
Six opponents that qualified for the 2011 NCAA Tournament are scheduled to face the Eagles in addition to women's College World Series runner-up Florida.
Eagles softball coach David Deiros sends his team against nine teams from BCS conferences that include Big East representatives USA, Villanova, Georgetown and Rutgers, Utah of the Pac-12, ACC rivals Maryland, Boston College and Florida State, plus 12 teams ranking in the top-100 RPI last season.
"We look forward to playing a very exciting schedule this season," said Deiros. "Our conference continues to prove itself as one of the best in the country. Our home slate is very competitive again with a couple of BCS conference opponents coming to Fort Myers. We play 2011 WCWS runner-up Florida (Feb. 10) so we will get an idea of how good our squad will be very early on."
For the fourth straight year the Eagles open the season on the road at the Best Western Tournament hosted by USF in Tampa. The Eagles play a five games from Feb. 10-12 and face USF, Florida, Long Island, Maine and Illinois State during the three-day span. Florida is coming off of its fourth consecutive CWS appearance, where the Gators lost to Arizona State in the championship game.
The Eagles' home opener is Feb. 17 for the first of two tournaments and the A-Sun opener is March 7.