The University of Houston-Victoria softball team will jump straight into the fire this weekend when they open the 2017 softball season at the NAIA College Cowtown Classic at Gateway Park in Fort Worth.


The 18th-ranked Jaguars will open tournament play with three games on Friday, including two games against top-20 ranked teams.


UHV opens play at 9 a.m. Friday against Avila University (Mo.), then turns around to face No. 20 Central Methodist College (Mo.) in an 11 a.m. matchup. The Jaguars finish off the day against top-ranked Oklahoma City at 5 p.m.


Oklahoma City ended the Jaguars season last year in the championship game of the Oklahoma City bracket of the NAIA Opening Round Tournament.


The Jaguars will play two games on Saturday as they will face Tabor College (KS) in a 1 p.m. contest and Texas Wesleyan at 3 p.m.


Last year the Jaguars went 3-2 in the tournament collecting wins against Bacone College (9-1), Tabor (7-2) and Texas Wesleyan (4-3), while losing to Morningside College (9-2) and Oklahoma City (8-2).


Right after the tournament, the Jaguars will jump into Red River Athletic Conference play when they face off against Huston-Tillotson in a pair of doubleheaders on Feb. 17-18 in Austin.