Down South’s Top 10 Games/Series to Watch

When looking at this years upcoming Southeast schedule there are a lot of exciting match-ups.  We see teams playing out of conference who are perennially ranked and some tough conference match-ups.  Below are 10 games/series that we are excited to see in this upcoming season.  Games are listed by date below.

North Georgia vs. Valdosta State
Saturday, February 4

11:00am
Gulf Shores Sportsplex
; Gulf Shores, AL
Take:  The Gulf Shores Sportsplex, in Gulf Shores, Alabama kicks off the DII softball season with an impressive tournament hosting some of the top teams in the nation.  One of these matchups pit powerhouses North Georgia and Valdosta State.  In the HeroSports.com, BennettRank, rankings this is a #4 vs. #5 team matchup.  North Georgia is a different team from last year, but this will be a big test to see how the Nighthawks stack up against the nation’s best.

Wingate at Lander
Wednesday, February 15
3:00pm DH
Lander Softball Field; Greenwood, SC
Take:  This is one of our first proving ground games for the season.  We are looking for both teams to take the step and compete at the top of their conferences, so this series means a lot to both teams.  For Wingate a win over a PBC team can help catapult them into their season coming into this game with a winning record.  For Lander, they want to prove they belong and a win over the HeroSports.com preseason #22 team is a way to make their statement.  We see a split, but to sweep the series would make a big statement for either team.

Pfieffer at Lenoir-Rhyne
Friday, February 17
12:00pm
Catawba Invitational at LR; Hickory, NC
Take:  We have two looks on this one meeting of Pfeiffer and Lenoir-Rhyne.  The first is some revenge for Lenoir-Rhyne who fell twice to Pfeiffer in the NCAA regionals to be eliminated from the postseason.  With a strong team for the 2017 season the Bears want to make sure Pfeiffer knows who is still king, but don’t worry Pfeiffer knows this is a game that could let people know they are for real in the Southeast.  Both teams should come into it with undefeated records which would make it even more exciting from our end.

Armstrong State vs. Saint Leo
Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
12:30 & 1:30
Florida Tech Marriott Brawl at the Beach; Melbourne, FL  
Take:  Armstrong is going to spend the entire month of February in Florida to get ready for the season.  Playing in the Marriott Brawl at the Beach will be a great test and could show if the Pirates are ready to take a repeat trip to the World Series.  One of their biggest tests will be taking on HeroSports.com #6 team St. Leo twice in the tournament.  Winning twice can make a national statement that Armstrong State is here and ready to head back to the World Series.

Anderson at Georgia College
Sunday, February 19
2:00pm DH
GC
Take:  If Anderson plays like we think they can they should be coming into this game 12-0 by playing lesser competition to start the season.  Georgia College will be their first test and could show whether Anderson is real or not.  In the same point this is another test game on the early schedule for Georgia College who looks to take a repeat trip to the NCAA postseason this year.

North Georgia vs. St. Leo
Sunday, February 26
1:00pm
D9 Citrus Classic; ESPN Wide World of Sports; Orlando, FL
Take:  North Georgia enters another top tournament heading down to Orlando, FL and ESPN Wide World of Sports, Diamond 9 Citrus Classic.  This tournament boast the nation’s best in all levels of softball and this game does not disappoint.  Heading into this season with the HeroSports.com rankings this is a #4 North Georgia vs. a #6 St. Leo team.  We will know a little more about North Georgia who starts with a tough schedule by now, but a preseason top 10 matchup is always exciting.

Armstrong State at North Georgia
Sunday, March 5
1:00pm start DH
Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium, UNG; Dahlonega, GA
Take:  The Peach Belt could have started off the conference season any better.  We see the usual favorite hosting the team looking to unseat the Nighthawks from their throne.  Armstrong State will have been tested in previous games but this series could set the tone for the entire conference.  North Georgia went 3-2 versus Armstrong last season, but the Pirates won the games when they mattered in the Super Regional to head to the World Series.

Young Harris at Carson-Newman
Wednesday, March 14
2:00pm DH
CNU; Jefferson City, TB
Take:  It may not be the sexiest game on the schedule but it bears a little of weight for the Down South Staff.  With some feelings that we ranked Carson-Newman a little high and Young Harris a little low in our preseason rankings.  The Eagles of Carson-Newman will show if they are real and ready to take on the SAC this season facing an always tough PBC Young Harris team.  If the Mountain Lions show their dominance here on the road it may be a great momentum boost for their conference season and a chance to prove us wrong.  This may be another split but should be a great matchup of equal teams.

Pfeiffer vs. Limestone
Sunday, March 19
2:00pm DH
Jack Ingram Field, PU; Misenheimer, NC
Take:  This series may be the series that decides Conference Carolinas.  These two teams will have an epic showdown at Pfeiffer and at the end we will know if Limestone keeps control of the conference or if Pfeiffer unseats them.  An interesting twist on this is the scheduling with Pfeiffer playing second year Converse the day before and Limestone not playing a game in over a week.  It will be exciting to watch some of the best players in the Conference Carolinas take the field either way.

UNC Pembroke at Armstrong State
Saturday, March 25
1:00pm DH
Pirate Softball Field, ASU; Savannah, GA
Take:  This game is simple and it’s all about UNC Pembroke, we need to know if they are for real.  The Braves will take on North Georgia a week earlier at home but this test is on the road and if UNC Pembroke can have the season we expect could be the same place they end up playing in an NCAA regional at.  While we may not predict a UNC Pembroke sweep and split is a win for the Braves, who will look to show they belong with the top teams in the PBC.

 

For the full 2017 schedule, check out our Schedule Page

Also here are links to the conference composite schedules:

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