New-look Hillenbrand Stadium will host some of the top teams in the country in its first season after the remodel, including the defending national champions.
The Arizona Wildcats are set to welcome the Florida State Seminoles in 2019, per a source. The weekend series will take place March 8-10. Arizona then hosts Oregon the following weekend to begin Pac-12 play.
Florida State went 58-12 last season, beating Georgia, Oregon, UCLA and Washington in the Women’s College World Series to capture its first-ever national championship.
FSU returns ace Meghan King (26-6, 1.17 ERA) but lost star infielder Jessie Warren, who finished with the FSU and ACC records for home runs (83), RBI (273), runs scored (229) and slugging percentage (.820), and was the WCWS’s Most Outstanding Player.
Still, don’t expect the Seminoles to take a step back.
They have made 31 NCAA Tournament appearances, the most of any team east of Arizona, and have won the ACC six straight years and reached the WCWS three times since 2014.
Arizona, which should officially release its schedule shortly, also hosts Alabama on Feb. 16 and is participating in the annual Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, as well as a season-opening tournament at the University of South Florida that includes matchups against Michigan and Florida, providing a bevy of high-caliber competition before conference play begins.
The Wildcats went 43-16 last year, including a 13-11 mark in the Pac-12. That was good for a fifth-place finish. Their season ended in Super Regionals at the hands of UCLA, marking the eighth straight year Arizona has fallen short of the WCWS.