BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – CSU Bakersfield’s softball team will begin its march toward another Western Athletic Conference title this weekend as the Roadrunners are prepared to open the season with five games over three days. The ‘Runners are headed to Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 10-12, for UNLV’s Sporto Kick Off Classic.

“As always, we’re excited to play someone other than ourselves,” said Crissy Buck-Ziegler, Head Coach for the 'Runners. “I think we’re in a really good place. The team is pretty focused and energized.”

When asked about whether or not the team was prepared for stiff competition right out of the gate, Buck-Ziegler said that her team was up for the challenge: “We talked a lot in the fall about trying to be Top 64 and it’s great to open with tough competition and see where we’re at. This first weekend is gaging where we are and what we need to adjust. Everything is a learning curve and that’s what we’re excited about.”

CSUB will open the season with a nighttime doubleheader on Friday. The ‘Runners will begin the year against a Louisville squad that went 35-17 a year ago, was also an NCAA Regionals participant, and received votes in the first ESPN.com/USA Softball poll of the season. CSUB will then cap the evening with a game against Southern Utah, which finished the 2016 season at 13-40, but was 8-12 in Big Sky play.

Saturday’s action will feature two games for the ‘Runners. In the early afternoon, CSUB will take on the Sycamores of Indiana State, who finished the past season at 17-34. Virginia Tech, another team that received votes in the preseason poll, will be CSUB’s opponent to close out Saturday in Las Vegas. The Hokies are coming off of a season in which they fell by one run to No. 20 Notre Dame in the ACC Championship.

The ‘Runners will wrap up the tournament with a final game on Sunday against host UNLV. The Rebels went 24-31 last year and will welcome all five of their opponents to Eller Media Stadium in Las Vegas.

Friday’s first game for the ‘Runners is set for a 6 p.m. first pitch with CSUB’s game against Southern Utah to follow immediately after. The ‘Runners will play Indiana State at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and then close the day at 6 p.m. against VT. UNLV and CSUB are set for a start time of 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

This weekend’s tournament will feature live stats for all games and live stream only during UNLV’s games. Links to both will be made available at CSUB’s softball schedule page. More information about the Sporto Kick Off Classic can be seen at the tournament central page.

~GoRunners.com~