– The Chaminade University softball team released its 2014 schedule Monday, unveiling an impressive slate of non-conference opponents as well those from the always-difficult Pacific West Conference.
After facing their alumnae on Saturday, Feb. 1, the Silverswords open the regular season on Thursday, Feb. 4, against Western Washington at Corp Field at Central O'ahu Regional Park. The Vikings were 23-23 last season, finishing fifth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and were NCAA West Regional participants in 2011.
Also on the non-conference slate, the Swords host Upper Iowa University on Tuesday, March 11. The Peacocks were 28-16 last season and 15-7 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, both Division II records for the school.
The Silverswords will also be tested against former NAIA power Lubbock Christian University on Thursday, March 20 at Corp Field. The Lady Chaps went 61-10 last year, setting a school-record for wins and finishing third in the 2013 NAIA National Championship. LBU is in its first year of NCAA Division II membership and is a member of the Heartland Conference.
The Swords will also face Hawai'i Pacific and BYU-Hawai'i in a non-conference "triangle" format on Saturday, Feb. 8, at HPU's Howard Okita Field in Kaneohe. CUH faces HPU at 12 p.m., then BYUH at 2 p.m.
CUH also will host two exhibition doubleheaders against Regina College of Canada (Feb. 18) and Spokane Falls Community College (March 4).
Chaminade opens PacWest play on Saturday, Feb. 15, when they host the Seasiders at Corp Field, followed by a 4-game series against Holy Names from March 1-2, also at Corp.
Notre Dame de Namur (March 6), Dominican (March 13) and Academy of Art (March 18) are the Mainland PacWest schools making the trip to the 808. CUH makes its only Mainland road trip of the year with PacWest games at Azusa Pacific (March 26-27), California Baptist (March 29) and defending PacWest co-champion Dixie State (March 31-April 1).
The Silverswords wrap up the trip in the annual Tournament of Champions Presented by Mizuno in Turlock, Calif., from April 4-6. The Swords played in the Gold Bracket Championship last season, finishing two wins shy of the overall tournament title and were the Bronze Bracket champions in 2012.
Chaminade returns to the islands for conference doubleheaders at defending PacWest co-champ Hawai'i-Hilo (April 13) and at HPU (April 19). The team concludes the regular season against the Vulcans on Monday, April 28, at Corp Field.
The Swords were 25-21 last season, their first winning campaign since 2002 and were one win shy of tying the school record. Despite losing several key seniors, the Silverswords added eight newcomers to boast a record 22 players on the roster this season.
"It's going to be a challenging year for us losing five seniors," head coach Kent Yamaguchi
said. "But we'll work hard starting Jan. 10 with our first practice. I think when this team starts flowing we have the potential to be very good. We have the capabilities to be a really good team."