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WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Twenty-seven home games, matchups with four teams that qualified for the 2012 NCAA Tournament and a 21-game Colonial Athletic Association slate highlight the 2013 schedule for the UNCW softball program, Head Coach Kristy Norton announced on Thursday.

"We have worked very hard this fall and our ladies are extremely excited to get the regular season started," said Norton, who was named Head Coach of the Seahawks program last May. "Playing against two national powerhouse programs (Tennessee and Florida) highlights our tournament schedule, but our entire tournament slate will be challenging and will help us prepare for our CAA games."

The Seahawks open their 55-game schedule with the UNCW Beach Blast (Feb. 8-10) as they welcome Detroit, 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Iona and Nebraska-Omaha to Boseman Field for the three-day event.

UNCW continues its tournament schedule with an appearance in the University of Florida Tournament (Feb. 15-17). The Seahawks will face Charleston Southern, Savannah State, Western Carolina and 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifier Florida in the event.

Following their trip to the Sunshine State, the Seahawks return home for their second home tournament of the month, entertaining Gardner-Webb, Morehead State and UMBC in the Seahawk Classic (Feb. 22-24).

March begins with a trip to the Charleston Southern Tournament (March 1-2), where they will face Valparaiso, 2012 Women's College World Series qualifier Tennessee and the host Buccaneers.

A mid-week doubleheader at North Carolina A&T (March 6) awaits the Seahawks after their trip to Low Country while games against Liberty, North Carolina Central and Presbyterian at the NCCU Round Robin (March 8-9) will bring the tournament portion of the schedule to a close.  

The Seahawks return home to host USC Upstate (March 16) in a mid-week doubleheader before opening CAA play with a three-game set against 2012 league champion and NCAA Super Regional participant Hofstra (March 23-24). March comes to a close with a visit to George Mason for a three-game CAA series (March 30-31).

The April portion of the schedule begins with a non-conference doubleheader against long-time rival East Carolina (April 3) and continues with league series against James Madison (April 6-7) at home and on the road at Georgia State (April 13-14).

UNCW will then turn its focus to non-league matchups with UNC Greensboro (April 16) and at Coastal Carolina (April 17) before wrapping up April with a nine-game home stand that features weekend series against league foes Towson (April 20-21) and Drexel (April 27-28) and a mid-week doubleheader against state foe Campbell (April 23).

UNCW closes out the regular season with a three-game conference series at Delaware (May 4-5).

The 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Softball Championship is scheduled to take place May 9-11 and will be hosted by the league's regular-season champion. The championship will consist of four teams in a double-elimination format. 

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