The Charleston Battery will open its 20th season on the road against its oldest rival -- the Richmond Kickers -- on April 7.

The USL Pro Division announced its 2012 regular season schedule Wednesday. Teams will play 24 games in the 11-team league.

The Battery will host the Carolina Challenge Cup -- its annual preseason tournament -- from Feb. 25 to March 3 at Blackbaud Stadium. The week-long tournament features three Major League Soccer teams and the Battery.

The 2012 USL Pro Division playoffs will start the weekend of Aug. 24. The semifinals will be played the following weekend, with the 2012 USL Pro Championship game set for the weekend of Sept. 7.

All playoff rounds feature a single-game knockout format.

Battery Schedule


*25--Columbus Crew; *29--D.C. United


*3--Chicago Fire.


7--at Richmond; 14--Richmond; 17--at Charlotte; 27--Pittsburgh.


4--Antigua; 12--Rochester; 26--Los Angeles; 31--at Pittsburgh.


2--at Dayton; 9--at Orlando; 15--Antigua; 23--Harrisburg; 29--at Antigua.


1--at Antigua; 6--Charlotte; 7--at Charlotte; 14--Wilmington; 19--Orlando; 28--at Orlando.


4--at Wilmington; 8--at Harrisburg; 11--at Rochester; 18--Dayton.

*Carolina Challenge Cup


Charleston Southern senior shortstop Megan Lombard was named to the Big South Preseason All-Conference first team by College Sports Madness, while four other Buccaneers made the second team.

Lombard hit .330 with eight home runs, 13 doubles, 30 runs scored, 33 RBIs, a .410 on-base percentage, and a .534 slugging percentage last season.

CSU juniors Jessica Brock, Morgan Dowdy, and Jana Matthews were named to the second team, along with sophomore Stephanie Sbardella.