2024 THE Spring Games Opening Weekend

THE Spring Games Opening Weekend: What To Know About The TSG Invitational

THE Spring Games Opening Weekend: What To Know About The TSG Invitational

THE Springs Games, the world’s largest softball event, doesn’t do things lightly. On the first weekend, Division I teams will head to Florida to do battle.

Jan 25, 2024 by Briar Napier
THE Spring Games Opening Weekend: What To Know About The TSG Invitational

The world’s largest softball event doesn’t take things lightly. On the first weekend, NCAA Division I teams will trek down to Florida to play some softball, and THE Spring Games is doing it big.

The multi-day THE Spring Games Invitational will mark a glorious return and a massive occasion in the early-season stages of college softball, where multiple NCAA Tournament teams will test themselves against a powerful field of opponents.

Of course, it’s definitely worth sticking around for the entire run of THE Spring Games: Main Event to see what the event has to offer as a one-of-a-kind showcase in college softball. 

But, as it begins its 2024 edition with a bang, there’s no better way to get all the action underway.

Here’s all you need to know about THE Spring Games’ Opening Weekend.

What Teams Are Playing In THE Spring Games Invitational?

  • Kansas
  • Ohio State
  • Penn State
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • UC Riverside
  • Coastal Carolina
  • Southern Illinois
  • Liberty

THE Spring Games Invitational, the celebratory opening weekend of the 2024 edition of THE Spring Games, will feature a nine-team field. 

The TSG Invitational will take place at the Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex in Leesburg, Florida.

Southern Illinois and Liberty both are coming off of NCAA Tournament appearances a season ago, with the Flames, in particular, having picked up national notoriety in the regional round by shockingly defeating No. 2 seed UCLA.

The loss eliminated UCLA from the tournament, as the Bruins already had fallen to Grand Canyon. It was UCLA’s first failure to make the super-regional round since 2013. 

Keep a close eye on the Southern Illinois, as well. The former national-title threat (three Women’s College World Series appearances from 1970-1978) will be bringing a storied history to the Sunshine State.

Players To Watch In THE Spring Games Invitational

Rachel Roupe, OF, Liberty

There’s a lot on Roupe’s shoulders.

Her talented teammates from 2023, who joined her on the All-Atlantic Sun first team—ASUN Player of the Year and star catcher Caroline Hudson and outfielder KK Madrey—transferred to Oklahoma State and LSU in the offseason, respectively. 

The junior shared the ASUN home run title with 15 long bombs on the season, tallying 50 RBIs and a .634 slugging percentage. 

Hitting a home run and scoring the go-ahead run in the Flames’ legendary regional upset over UCLA, Roupe is all action. She had 11 RBIs in a single conference series against Queens, for instance, and she should be one of the most entertaining players taking part in the festivities at THE Spring Games. 

Melina Wilkison, OF, Ohio State

The Buckeyes just missed out on a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance last season, but the future remains bright, with Wilkison’s continued growth in the batter’s box. 

The career .339 hitter went a career-best .373 at the plate in 2023, flashing some newfound power on top of it. She had 11 homers, 44 RBIs and an impressive .718 slugging percentage, which ranked second in the Big Ten. 

Good speed (13 stolen bases) also helped Wilkison leg out a Big Ten-high seven triples to go with 14 doubles and should help make her one of the conference’s top hitters once more. 

Iyanla De Jesus, RHP/DP, Coastal Carolina

Teams facing the Chanticleers in Leesburg are going to have to worry about De Jesus in two different ways. 

The first is due to her production at the plate. The All-Sun Belt Conference first-team selection from a season ago led Coastal Carolina in batting average (.347) and was among the top 5 on the team in home runs (eight), RBIs (38), hits (59) and slugging percentage (.547). 

The second worry De Jesus brings for opponents is her presence on the mound, which is improving each year. She had a 3.72 ERA over 16 appearances and 47 innings, giving up just a .233 opposing batting average across the 2023 season. 

How To Watch THE Spring Games Opening Weekend

Watch THE Spring Games Opening Weekend on FloSoftball and the FloSports app.

FloSoftball will be streaming several NCAA Division I college softball tournaments, including the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, THE Spring Games and the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

2024 THE Spring Games Opening Weekend Schedule

All times Eastern

Thurs., Feb. 15

4:30 p.m.Kansas (Big 12)UC Riverside (Big West)SH 4

Fri., Feb. 16

NoonSouthern Illinois (MVC)UC Riverside (Big West)SH 4
12:30 p.m.Ohio State (Big Ten)Coastal Carolina (Sunbelt)SH 3
2 p.m.Penn State  (Big Ten)Kansas (Big 12)SH 1
2 p.m.Urbana-Champaign (Big Ten)Liberty (CUSA)SH 2
2:30 p.m.Iowa (Big Ten)Southern Illinois (MVC)SH 4
3 p.m.UC Riverside (Big West)Ohio State (Big Ten)SH 3
4:30 p.m.Kansas (Big 12)Urbana-Champaign (Big Ten)SH 1
4:30 p.m.Coastal Carolina (Sunbelt)Penn State  (Big Ten)SH 2
5 p.m.Liberty (CUSA)Iowa (Big Ten)SH 4

Sat., Feb. 17

10 a.m.Iowa (Big Ten)Kansas (Big 12)SH 4
10:30 a.m.Liberty (CUSA)Coastal Carolina (Sunbelt)SH 1
NoonUC Riverside (Big West)Penn State  (Big Ten)SH 2
NoonSouthern Illinois (MVC)Urbana-Champaign (Big Ten)SH 3
12:30 p.m.Kansas (Big 12)Ohio State (Big Ten)SH 4
1 p.m.Coastal Carolina (Sunbelt)Iowa (Big Ten)SH 1
2:30 p.m.Penn State  (Big Ten)Southern Illinois (MVC)SH 2
2:30 p.m.Urbana-Champaign (Big Ten)UC Riverside (Big West)SH 3
3 p.m.Ohio State (Big Ten)Liberty (CUSA)SH 4

Sun., Feb. 18

9:30 a.m.UC Riverside (Big West)Iowa (Big Ten)SH 1
9:30 a.m.Penn State  (Big Ten)Liberty (CUSA)SH 3
9:30 a.m.Coastal Carolina (Sunbelt)Urbana-Champaign (Big Ten)SH 4
9:30 a.m.Southern Illinois (MVC)Ohio State (Big Ten)SH 2

Where Is THE Spring Games Opening Weekend?

Though THE Spring Games is a multi-layered event taking place with teams from multiple divisions of college softball and across multiple dates and locations, the opening weekend of play is for the most popular programs—the Division I schools.

Those teams will be part of THE Spring Games Invitational from Feb. 15-18 at the Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex in Leesburg, Florida, located just outside of Orlando. 

All four softball fields at the facility will be in use for THE Spring Games Invitational, and the weather should be pleasant throughout, with Leesburg generally hitting high temperatures around the mid-70s in February. 

THE Spring Games Opening Weekend Schedule Highlights

The four-day THE Spring Games Invitational gets going with a single game at 4:30 p.m. EST Feb. 15, as Kansas takes on UC Riverside, matching up with a Jayhawks squad that had several high-profile victories a season ago (including against Oklahoma State, Texas and Baylor) with a Highlanders unit from a strong mid-major league in the Big West Conference. 

The event’s biggest days are Feb. 16-17, with nine games on each day. 

Top matchups from those two days include Liberty and Iowa capping off the first of those two days (5 p.m. EST on Feb. 16), an in-state, nonconference rivalry matchup between Illinois and Southern Illinois (noon EST on Feb. 17) and a Kansas-Ohio State showdown (12:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 17). 

A four-game slate closes the show Feb. 18, highlighted by the likes of Penn State getting a shot at taming Liberty (at 9:30 a.m. EST), among other exciting tussles.