PROVO — BYU softball head coach Gordon Eakin has announced the 2018 schedule, which features 2016 and 2017 national champion Oklahoma, as well as seven NCAA super regional teams.

“As a program, we are excited for our 2018 schedule,” Eakin said. “We have many recent top-25 opponents on our schedule and look forward to competing at the highest level of Division I softball.”

The Cougars will play a challenging 56-game slate in 2018. It includes 16 NCAA regional teams, seven super regional teams and four Women’s College World Series teams from last season.

Oklahoma, Washington, LSU and Baylor all finished in the top 10 of the final 2017 rankings in the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA Coaches polls. Ten other teams on the schedule made the top 25 in at least one of the polls.

In the RPI ranking, three BYU opponents finished in the top 10 in 2017, with Washington at No. 4, Oklahoma at No. 6 and Baylor at No. 9. Six more opponents earned recognition in the top 25.

During the 2018 season, the Cougars will face teams from four Power 5 conferences: two from the Big 10, two from Big 12, five from the Pac-12 and five from the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Additionally, BYU will play four Mountain West teams.

As in years past, the Cougars start the front end of the schedule with tough tournaments in warmer climates before the home opener in Provo takes place on March 16. BYU opens the season with five tournaments in a row. The Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, begins on Feb. 8, 2017, with the Cougars going up against top-25-caliber teams Georgia and Nebraska.

The DeMarini Desert Classic, Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Husky Classic and Hawaii Spring Fling Tournament wrap up the five-week road trip.

BYU hosts Southern Utah in a home-opening doubleheader on March 16. The Cougars then travel to compete in the LSU Round Robin before playing Southern Utah in Cedar City. Nonconference play concludes with the ASU Invitational and a trip to Utah State.

West Coast Conference games begin on April 6, with a series against Santa Clara. During conference play, BYU mixes in games with in-state foes Utah Valley, Utah and Utah State.

The home finale will be on May 12 against Loyola Marymount, and NCAA Regionals begin on May 17.

For more information on the 2018 Cougar softball schedule, visit the schedule page.