It’s unlikely fans will be allowed to attend Oregon softball home games this season.
But the 11th-ranked Ducks finally know when they are scheduled to play again at Jane Sanders Stadium.
Oregon, which posted a 22-2 record before the 2020 season was canceled last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, released its complete 55-game schedule Tuesday in conjunction with the Pac-12 revealing its matchup shells for the 2021 season.
The Ducks open the season Feb. 12-14 in a four-team tournament in Phoenix. Oregon will then play a doubleheader at Cal Poly on Feb. 19 before playing at Fresno State on Feb. 20.
“We’ve been waiting for a year, so it feels good to finally know that we’re getting ready to start our season,” third-year coach Melyssa Lombardi said during a Zoom with the media. “This group has been working really hard at practice. Since day one when we returned, they’ve been extremely locked in at practice and in the weight room. They’ve done an excellent job following COVID protocol.
“You can tell this group has some unfinished business by the way they’ve been going about things.”
After playing top-ranked UCLA twice and Utah once in a nonconference tournament hosted by Arizona State from Feb. 28-March 1, the Ducks play their first home games March 5-7 at Jane Sanders Stadium with a pair of games against Boise State and Portland State.
Oregon’s last home game was a 12-5 win over Portland State on March 8, 2020.
“It might look a little different,” said centerfielder Haley Cruse, who is returning for a second attempt to finish her senior season. “I don’t know what the fan situation is going to be by then. I just know what it feels like to be at Jane Sanders and the environment that fans have created there. It’s a little bit different without them, but it feels like home.
“There’s just a comfort level that comes with playing at the Jane that I’m really excited to get back to.”
This year, each Pac-12 weekend series will consist of four games instead of the typical three, with a doubleheader being played on the second day of each series. Game two of that doubleheader will not count in the conference standings.
Oregon will host a round-robin with Nevada, Sacramento State and Oregon State on March 12-14.
The Ducks open Pac-12 play against Utah on March 19-21 at Jane Sanders Stadium, before home nonconference games against Portland State on March 24 and Loyola Marymount on March 26-27.
The Ducks play rival Oregon State on April 1-3 in Corvallis before hosting UCLA on April 9-11. Oregon then travels to Seattle to take on Washington on April 15-17, ahead of hosting Stanford on April 23-25.
Oregon then takes on the Arizona schools in back-to-back weeks, playing at Arizona State on April 30-May 2 and hosting Arizona from May 7-9.
The Ducks close out the regular season May 13-15 at California.
Contact reporter Ryan Thorburn at rthorbu[email protected] or 541-338-2330, and follow him on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: No. 11 Oregon Ducks 2021 softball schedule released