HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The time for preparation and planning is over for the Saint Mary's softball team.
Now, it's time to perform.
The Gaels kick off the 2013 season on Thursday at 1 p.m. (PST) when they face No. 16 Washington as part of the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic, hosted by Hawaii.
The tournament continues at 3 p.m. when SMC faces Ole Miss. The Gaels take on Alabama-Birmingham on Friday at 3 p.m., then wrap up pool play with an 8 p.m. game against Hawaii. They will play one more game on Saturday, with the opponent and time determined by results of the first two days.
Last season, Saint Mary's captured its second Pacific Coast Softball Conference Coastal Division title in three years, finishing the season with a 26-23 overall record.
This will be the last season for the Gaels as a member of the PCSC, as they transition into the West Coast Conference in 2014. The PCSC will look a little different this year as well, with BYU joining Cal State Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, Santa Clara, Utah Valley and the Gaels.
The team Saint Mary's fields when it takes on the Huskies will also look different than the one that called Cottrell Field home last year. The Gaels have 11 true freshmen on the roster to begin the season.
Back to lead the Gaels in the circle is senior pitcher Jessica Lemmon. The reigning PCSC Coastal Division Pitcher of the Year will see the bulk of the innings this season after a successful junior campaign.
All-PCSC first team outfielder Brittany Sabatini returns in center field, and all-PCSC honorable mention Christine Torrise also returns to fill a variety of roles. Senior Megan Smith will also play a big leadership role as the Gaels' catcher.
After it wraps up play in Hawaii, Saint Mary's returns home to host a doubleheader against Sacramento State on Feb. 16. First pitch is scheduled for noon.