ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis University head softball coach Christy Connoyer has announced the Billikens’ 2017 schedule, a 52-game slate that includes 14 home games at the Billiken Sports Center.

Highlighting the home schedule are an Atlantic 10 Conference doubleheader vs. Dayton (March 29); three-game A-10 series vs. Massachusetts (April 8-9), La Salle (April 22-23) and George Mason (April 29-30); and a single game vs. local rival SIUE (April 18). Dayton and Massachusetts finished second and third, respectively, in the 2016 A-10 regular-season standings.

“We’re looking forward to taking the field this spring,” said Connoyer, who welcomes back six position starters and two pitchers from last year’s team. “We have prepared throughout the fall, on and off the field, and are eager to compete.

“I have been encouraged watching our players develop, physically and mentally, and they’re ready to go all out in our 2017 season,” Connoyer said. “We’re very excited about what lies ahead.”

Saint Louis begins the season Feb. 10-12 at Kennesaw State’s Rafter Memorial Tournament. There, the Billikens will play Morehead State, Kennesaw State, South Carolina State and Austin Peay (twice).

Following a weekend off, SLU heads south again to compete in Chattanooga’s Frost Classic Feb. 24-26. UT Martin, Western Michigan, Fairleigh Dickinson, Northwestern State and Chattanooga are the opponents.

The Billikens face intrastate rivals UMKC, Missouri State and Southeast Missouri State March 4-5 at the We Back Pat Tournament, hosted by UMKC. Consolation and championship games will be played following a round-robin.

Three opponents await the Bills at Murray State’s Racer Classic March 10-12. Saint Louis will take on Northern Illinois, Murray State (twice) and Austin Peay (twice). SLU’s final tournament is the Tiger Classic, hosted by Memphis March 17-18. The Billikens will play twice against Eastern Kentucky and Memphis.

Saint Louis will be tested in conference play immediately in a three-game set at Saint Joseph’s March 25-26. The Hawks were the 2016 A-10 Championship runners-up. That series is followed by the home doubleheader vs. Dayton March 29 and a three-game A-10 series at Rhode Island April 1-2.

The Billikens go out of conference for a game at Southern Illinois April 5 before returning to league action with three-game series vs. Massachusetts April 8-9 (home) and George Washington April 14-15 (away).

Nine of the next 11 games are at home, beginning with a nonconference single tilt vs. SIUE April 18. A-10 foe La Salle comes in for three games April 22-23 before the Billikens play their only nonconference games during the stretch – a doubleheader at Southeast Missouri State – April 26.

Five games in four days wrap up the home schedule, with league rival George Mason visiting for three April 29-30 and Indiana State coming in for a twinbill May 2. The regular season concludes with a three-game A-10 series at St. Bonaventure May 6-7.

The A-10 Championship, featuring the top six teams in the final regular-season standings, will be played May 10-13 in Fairfax, Virginia. George Mason is the host.