October 24, 2012

Saint Leo to Compete in First PBC-SSC Softball Challenge

WINTER PARK, Fla. - The Peach Belt Conference and Sunshine State Conference are teaming up for the PBC-SSC Softball Challenge. The event will be hosted February 1-3, 2013, at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, Ga. The venue hosted softball during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

The PBC-SSC Softball Challenge will feature four teams from each league and will kick off the opening weekend of the NCAA Division II softball season. The PBC teams participating in the 2013 event will be Armstrong Atlantic, North Georgia, Columbus State, and UNC Pembroke. Representing the SSC will be Florida Southern, Florida Tech, Lynn, and Saint Leo.

The event will be hosted by the Sports Council of Columbus (Ga.).

Saint Leo's full list of opponents, as well as time of the games, will be announced at a later date.

In creating the Challenge, PBC Commissioner Dave Brunk and SSC Commissioner Jay Jones had two goals: to provide a unique experience for student-athletes and to provide an opportunity for each league's softball teams to play in-region contests. Each participating team will play four games.

"I think this challenge event is a great chance to highlight two of the top softball conferences in the country and to kick off the season with a unique event that should be a great experience for our student-athletes and fans," Jones said. "We are very excited."

The event will kick off with a welcome banquet on Friday, Feb. 1. Games will then be played Saturday, Feb. 2 and Sunday, Feb. 3.

South Commons Softball Complex is an eight-field complex that includes a five-field hub with a central "roundhouse" featuring indoor score booths, concessions, and restrooms. In addition to hosting the 1996 Olympic softball competition, the facility has also hosted the Southeastern Conference baseball championship.

"This challenge is a great opportunity to showcase some of the best softball in Division II," said Brunk. "The Peach Belt and Sunshine State Conference have consistently fielded some of the highest-caliber teams in the nation, so it seems natural to bring them together at one of the premier facilities for this event. It would not have been possible without the support of Commissioner Jones and the Columbus Sports Council, and I am looking forward to establishing a tradition we can continue for years to come."

For more on the softball program, visit SaintLeoLions.com.