Tia Palauni and the Utes will face a challenging schedule in 2011.
Feb. 4, 2011
With the first pitch of the 2011 Utah softball campaign six days away, utahutes.com preps fans for the beginning of the season with a breakdown of the Ute roster as well as a look at the upcoming schedule. This is the fifth in a five-part series about the student-athletes Utah has at each position heading into the season as well as the competition they will face.
Seven Ute Opponents Ranked in NFCA Preseason Top 25:
The Utes will test their mettle at the beginning of the season as they are scheduled to face seven opponents who finished in the top 25 of the USA Today/NFCA Division I preseason rankings.
"Our non-conference schedule is difficult as always, starting right out of the chute during the first two weekends," Utah head coach Amy Hogue said. "If we're competitive in those games, it will show that we're going places with this team. We need to beat the teams we should beat, and be competitive with those top-20 teams, then win some of those games this year.
"Having a successful non-conference season is critical heading into league play because you never really get to start with a clean slate. The confidence of the team rolls over. Your record doesn't carry over, but your confidence does."
Utah begins its final season of Mountain West Conference play in the Deseret First Duel against BYU April 8-9 in Salt Lake City.