Spring break for the rest of the student body is still three weeks away, but the MSU softball team is going to get an early taste of it this weekend, when it opens the season in Miami.
The Spartans will start the 2012 season off on Friday, when they play 25th-ranked Louisville to open the Florida International Combat Classic. They will also play Florida International, Massachusetts and Illinois before finishing with Alabama-Birmingham on Sunday.
MSU returns 13 players from last year’s squad, which went 18-11 over the course of the spring, including a mark of 15-5 in neutral site games. Four out of the five games this weekend will qualify as neutral.
However, this year’s schedule appears to be much tougher, especially based on this first weekend. All of the five teams the Spartans will face return multiple quality players from teams that found success last spring.
This will be MSU’s only regular-season matchup with Illinois, even though both teams play in the Big Ten. The next time the Spartans and the Fighting Illini face off would be in the Big Ten tournament.
It doesn’t get any easier next weekend, when the Spartans travel to Gainesville, Fla., where they’ll take on No. 2 Florida.
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