COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina softball released its 2021 schedule Friday, head coach Beverly Smith announced. The challenging slate features 54 games, including 32 at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
All dates and times are subject to change with the possibility of more games to be added at a later date.
Per South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s Executive Order of July 29, 2020, stadiums and athletics venues were permitted to open and exceed the order’s guidelines if the department “can satisfactorily demonstrate an ability to comply with federal and state COVID-19 procedures and protocols to the Department of Commerce.”
Capacity for this season will be reduced to approximately 400 ticketed patrons (28 percent of normal capacity) with a ticket pod system utilized. There will be approximately six feet of distance between the pods. Facial coverings will be required for staff and fans at all times at the stadium, and patrons also will be required to follow the SEC and University fan safety guidelines.
At this time, all 400 allotted seats have been sold. Additional season tickets, as well as walk-up tickets, will not be sold this season.
Unfortunately there will be no on-field recognitions, so the Field of Dreams and Bat Girl programs will not be taking place during the 2021 season.
“Game day won’t be the same without ALL of our loud and proud Gamecock softball season ticket holders and fans,” Smith said. “However, after having the 2020 season end abruptly, I am so grateful to be back competing at Beckham Field. I have a talented team that will be exciting to follow. Please be on the lookout for the upcoming tv schedule later this month.”
Carolina opens the season Feb. 12 when it plays host to the Carolina Classic with North Carolina, Louisville and UNCG taking part. The Gamecocks start the tournament against the Tar Heels that day.
South Carolina’s first road trip of the season takes place the following weekend as the Garnet and Black head to Jacksonville for the University of North Florida Tournament.
Week 4, the Gamecocks head to Chapel Hill for the first time since 2017 and just the third time during the Smith era. Carolina will face off against the host Tar Heels, UConn and Elon.
SEC play starts with a three-game series at home against Arkansas starting Mar. 12. South Carolina’s first SEC road trip is to College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M in a three-game set starting Mar. 26.
The Gamecocks play host to in-state rival Clemson for the first time in school history with a midweek contest slated for Apr. 21.
Carolina’s home portion of the schedule closes with a three-game series against Mississippi State starting Apr. 30 before concluding the regular season with a three-game set in Lexington, Ky., against Kentucky starting May 7.
The 2021 SEC Tournament is slated for May 11-15 in Tuscaloosa, Al. NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 20-23 at campus locations while Super Regionals are on the calendar for May 27-30 at campus sites, as well.
The Women’s College World Series is set for June 1-6 in Oklahoma City.