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The Canisius College softball team will open the 34th season in program history Saturday, Feb. 16, when the team travels to the Cleveland State Indoor Tournament to play local rival St. Bonaventure and host Cleveland State, head softball coach Mike Rappl announced today. In all, Canisius will play its first 29 games on the road, with the 2013 home-opening doubleheader set for Monday, April 8 when the Golden Griffins play host to St. Bonaventure at the Demske Sports Complex.

The 2013 season will see Canisius take part in four different non-conference tournaments, starting at Cleveland State Feb. 16-17. The Blue and Gold will also travel to take part in the North Carolina A&T Invitational (Feb. 22-24), the Hampton Invitational (March 8-9) and the George Mason Cherry Blossom Classic (March 15-17). The team's first game of the season in New York state is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, when the Griffs travel to cross-town rival Buffalo for a single game at Nan Harvey Field, and then the team will get back on the road March 30-April 6 for twinbills at Mount St. Mary's, the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern and Rider.

The two games at Rider April 6 will open the MAAC portion of this year's slate. The April 8 home opener will start the Griffs' only homestand of the season, as the Blue and Gold will play a total of 15 home contests in a 17-day span, which features home doubleheaders against league rivals Marist (April 13), Niagara (April 18), Manhattan (April 20) and Saint Peter's (April 21). Canisius will also host non-league games against Detroit (April 10), Robert Morris (April 16) and a single-game against Buffalo (April 24) during the homestand.

Canisius will close out the regular season with four-straight doubleheaders on the road, as Canisius will travel to league rivals Iona (April 27), Fairfield (April 29) and Siena (May 4), with a trip to Colgate (May 1) on the schedule as well. The 2013 MAAC Softball Championship is set for May 9-11, at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The Griffs return 12 letterwinners and seven regular starters from last year's roster that went 20-30 overall and 11-5 in MAAC play. Canisius ended its season at the 2012 MAAC Softball Championships, as the Griffs qualified for the league's championship tournament for the 21st time in the last 23 seasons.

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