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BYU Athletics Blog

February Baseball Blog

Feb 16, 2017 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 9:17 am | Permalink

ATLANTA CHALLENGE LIVE LINKS: Georgia Tech will have  a one-camera setup for a broadcast on the ACC Network Extra (ESPN3).  Kennesaw State will have online streaming , but won't have a play-by-play announcer for the game due to a basketball doubleheader, but will have audio and a crowd mic. See our schedule page for those links: http://byucougars.com/schedule/m-baseball

RARELY FRIDAY:  Baseball America wrote how BYU will miss “electric Friday starter Michael Rucker.” Yes, Rucker will be missed, but his electricity rarely conducted on a Friday.  BYU plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday series, never on a Sunday.  Rucker pitched twice last year on a Friday: in the season opener vs. Saint Louis and in the opening upset over No. 25 Creighton.  The All-American Rucker, who signed with the Chicago Cubs with a year of eligibility remaining, had 13 Thursday appearances and one Monday appearance en route to his 11-1 record.

GAME NOTES:  More detailed information on the team is posted through a multi-page PDF attached to our weekly game advances.  Those notes include preseason honors, a listing of former Cougar players from Georgia , etc.  Here’s the link for the season-opening game notes: http://byucougars.com/files/byu_in_atlanta_challenge_0.pdf

FIELD OF 64:  Baseball America also listed BYU among its projected field of 64 as a No. 3 seed at the Charlottesville, Virginia regional as the league champion.  It also listed WCC foe Gonzaga as a No. 3 seed at the Corvallis, Oregon regional and Cougar opponents UC Santa Barbara as a No. 2 seed at Corvallis; and Georgia Tech as a No. 2 seed at the Lafayette, Louisiana Regional.

SHAVER PRESEASON HONORS: Colton Shaver is one of 55 on the Golden Spikes Preseason watch list, see link at http://bit.ly/2lPMeQy. Shaver was also listed as a Preseason All-American by The Sporting News.

ATTENDING FIRST PITCH DINNER:  Among the former BYU baseball players who attended last month’s fourth-annual First Pitch Dinner were:  Tim Anderson, Cortland Andrews, Bryce Ayoso, Mike Bergeron, Jeff Bills, Casey Cloward, Paul Cluff, Taylor Cole, Gary Cooper, Cameron Coughlan, Tyler Dabo, David Decker, Ryan Freeman, Rusty Gray, Jacob Hannemann, Matt Hutchings, Paul Jacinto, Wally Joyner, Adam Law, Mike Littlewood, Blair Lucas, Hayden Nielsen, Tyler Perry, Bryce Searle, Mark Smith, Jeremy Thomas, Eric Urry, Brock Whitney, Brad Winget, Alex Wolfe and former coaches Glen Tuckett and Vernon Law.

MORE ON FIRST PITCH DINNER:  A Georgia anecdote was revealed at the end of the First Pitch Dinner by Wally Joyner about keynote speaker Dale Murphy.  Cougar alum and All-American Joyner told of growing up in Georgia and getting prime seats at the struggling Atlanta Braves’ games. Murphy was a hero of his whom he met once before the next encounter on I-285.  The then-teenage Joyner was delivering ice, trying to keep a truck with bad alignment in the lines and noticed a car behind him.  Soon the car pulled up beside Joyner and he noticed it was Murphy, waving out the window at the teenager he remembered.

NATIONAL HONOR FOR ZOBELL:  Yours truly was selected as the 42nd winner of the annual Wilbur Snypp Award for contributions to college baseball.  @RalphZobell tweeted:  “Scores of colleagues, interns, #BYUbaseball players, coaches & family helped with nat'l honor. Thank you. #GoCougs http://www.sportswriters.net/ncbwa/news/2017/snypp170209.html … pic.twitter.com/CjoNakwo8j” Official presentation of the award is scheduled for opening day of the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska on June 17, so let’s root for the Cougars to be there as one of the team qualifiers.  Former BYU coaches Gary Pullins and Glen Tuckett are scheduled to be in Omaha again for their yearly American Baseball Coaches Association meetings.

Getting to Know: Angel Zhong

Feb 15, 2017 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 10:56 am | Updated: February 15, 2017 11:08 am | Permalink

Angel Zhong, freshman

What is an interesting fact about you?
I was born in Shanghai, China, before moving to Canada at age 6.

What is your favorite movie?
“Captain America: Civil War.”

If you could have a walk-up song, what would it be?
“Halo” by Beyonce. 

What are you deathly afraid of?
Snails, worms and slugs.

What are two things you must have on road trips?
Ice cream and Harry Potter books.

What are you secretly good at?
Convincing people of fake random facts.

Sugg named College Sports Madness Conference Player of the Week

Feb 14, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 3:47 pm | Updated: February 14, 2017 3:57 pm | Permalink

After leading the team to a 2-2 record after the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, sophomore catcher Libby Sugg was named the College Sports Madness Conference Player of the Week for the West Coast Conference.

In the first game of the year against Nebraska, Sugg went 2 for 4 with five RBI and a three-run homer in the third inning. In the Cougars´ big upset over No. 13 Washington, she went a perfect 3 for 3. Her single in the bottom of the sixth sparked the momentum that would score three runs to take the 4-2 lead, which would be the final score. She also tallied a hit against No. 2 Auburn. Her performance led her to be named to the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge All-Tournament Team.

Sugg came out of the first four games leading the pack in home runs (1) and RBI (5), both categories she led at the end of 2016. She is also tied for second on the team in hits with six and in batting average with .462.

Each week, College Sports Madness names a player of the week for each conference in the NCAA. The website also names a national field player and pitcher of the week. This week UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding and Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland took home the national field player and pitcher of the week honors, respectively. 

For the complete list of conference players of the week, click here.

Four Cougars named to all-tournament team

Feb 11, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 9:25 pm | Updated: February 11, 2017 9:36 pm | Permalink

After a 2-2 record in Puerto Vallarta, BYU softball had four players named to the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge All-Tournament Team, as announced during the closing dinner on Saturday night.

Lauren Bell, McKenna Bull, Rylee Jensen and Libby Sugg were all named to the all-tournament team after their performances over the weekend. Auburn also had four players recognized. Washington had three, including the MVP Taran Alevlo. For the remaining two teams, Oklahoma had two and Nebraska had one on the list.

Bell led the team in batting over the four games with a .500 average on 6 of 12 hitting. She also tallied three runs and two RBI. Freshman Jensen jumped out to a huge start to her collegiate career, going 5 for 5 in her first five at bats. Against Nebraska, she went 4 for 4, the best season-opening performance by a BYU freshman. In that same game, Sugg tied her career high of five RBI. Over the weekend, she had a .462 batting average.

Pitching two games, Bull took victories over Nebraska and No. 13 Washington, the Huskies' only loss of the weekend. She had a 2.25 ERA, 10 strikeouts and just three walks and three earned runs.

Puerto Vallarta College Challenge All-Tournament Team

MVP
Tara Alevlo - Washington

Auburn
Kaylee Carlson
Makayla Martin
Kendall Veach
Carlee Wallace

BYU
Lauren Bell
McKenna Bull
Rylee Jensen
Libby Sugg

Nebraska
Austen Urness

Oklahoma
Paige Lowary
Nicole Pendley

Washington
Ali Aguilar
Trysten Melhart
Taylor Van Zee
 

Highlights from day one at Iowa Classic

Feb 10, 2017 - Posted by Caitlan Wrubell at 9:00 pm | Permalink

AMES, Iowa – The opening day of the Iowa Classic featured several athletes breaking into the BYU record books.

Erica Birk took first place in the women’s mile and set a new BYU record with a time of 4:38.95. Ashleigh Warner, Kristi Rush and Whittni Orton took fourth through sixth places, also claiming spots in the top 10 all-time at BYU. Warner now sits in second place (4:39.48) with Rush in fourth place (4:39.79) and Orton in ninth place (4:41.66).  

Clayton Young, Rory Linkletter and Jonathan Harper also took their places in BYU's top-10 all-time lists with their personal-record performances in the men's 5000 meters. Young finished in 13:45.25 for fourth place overall and third place all-time at BYU. Linkletter's time of 13:49.00 was good enough to give him seventh place overall and sixth place at BYU all-time. And Harper ran a time of 13:54.81 for 12th place at the meet and ninth place all-time at BYU. 

Tatenda Tsumba also had a good day, winning the men’s 200 meters and claiming third place all-time at BYU with a time of 21.02. He also took fourth place in the men’s 60 meters in 6.76.

Men’s runner Chase Horrocks placed third in the mile with a time of 4:03.19, and in the men’s 3000 meters, Alex Hedquist took eighth place in 8:25.52.

Tomi Adegoke finished second in the long jump with a mark of 7.06, and Chloe Hadley took seventh in the women’s long jump with a mark of 5.64.

Keesha Miller competed in the final of the women’s 60 meters and ran a 7.65, taking sixth place overall. Christina Hedgepath, Samantha Reevers and Lauren Rawlinson also finished in the top 15.

Highlights from day one at Iowa Classic

Feb 10, 2017 - Posted by Caitlan Wrubell at 5:12 pm | Updated: February 10, 2017 8:35 pm | Permalink

AMES, Iowa – The opening day of the Iowa Classic featured several athletes breaking into the BYU record books.

Erica Birk took first place in the women’s mile and set a new BYU record with a time of 4:38.95. Ashleigh Warner, Kristi Rush and Whittni Orton took fourth through sixth places, also claiming spots in the top 10 all-time at BYU. Warner now sits in second place (4:39.48) with Rush in fourth place (4:39.79) and Orton in ninth place (4:41.66).  

Clayton Young, Rory Linkletter and Jonathan Harper also took their places in BYU's top-10 all-time lists with their personal-record performances in the men's 5000 meters. Young finished in 13:45.25 for fourth place overall and third place all-time at BYU. Linkletter's time of 13:49.00 was good enough to give him seventh place overall and sixth place at BYU all-time. And Harper ran a time of 13:54.81 for 12th place at the meet and ninth place all-time at BYU. 

Tatenda Tsumba also had a good day, winning the men’s 200 meters and claiming third place all-time at BYU with a time of 21.02. He also took fourth place in the men’s 60 meters in 6.76.

Men’s runner Chase Horrocks placed third in the mile with a time of 4:03.19, and in the men’s 3000 meters, Alex Hedquist took eighth place in 8:25.52.

Tomi Adegoke finished second in the long jump with a mark of 7.06, and Chloe Hadley took seventh in the women’s long jump with a mark of 5.64.

Keesha Miller competed in the final of the women’s 60 meters and ran a 7.65, taking sixth place overall. Christina Hedgepath, Samantha Reevers and Lauren Rawlinson also finished in the top 15.

Now Batting: Arissa Paulson

Feb 08, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 3:06 pm | Permalink

Each Wednesday until the season opener on Feb. 9, one of five new players on this year's softball roster will be featured on the blog. Check back every Wednesday to meet the newcomers.


Arissa Paulson
Freshman pitcher

Why did you come to BYU?
Both of my parents went here and my older brother and sister (current junior pitcher Arianna Paulson). I also love the campus and good academics.

When did you start playing softball?
I started playing softball when I was 6 years old. I loved it and caught on quick, so I have been playing ever since.

What is your favorite sport besides softball?
I love playing basketball almost as much as softball. I played through high school and my family always plays games when we are all together. 

What is your favorite softball memory?
My favorite softball memory is winning the state playoffs semifinal game my junior year. We were tied going into the 8th inning, and I was able to hold the runners from scoring in extra innings. Then I came up to bat and hit a walk-off home run to win the game. It was one of the most exiting softball moments I have been a part of.

What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be an occupation therapist. I want to specialize in helping with the development of children. I love working with kids, so this job seems perfect for me.

How did you spend your summer? What was the highlight?
The highlight of my summer was getting scuba certified and going scuba diving in San Carlos, Mexico. It was such an awesome experience, and I plan to go on more trips.

Getting to Know: Mackenzie Douglas and Savanna Maradiaga

Feb 08, 2017 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 2:34 pm | Updated: February 8, 2017 2:40 pm | Permalink

Mackenzie Douglas, junior

What is your favorite movie?
“The Polar Express.”

What is the biggest disaster you have ever averted?
Almost not adopting my two cats.

What is your favorite place you have traveled to?
Haiti.

If you could have a walk-up song, what would it be?
Silence (no noise!) I hate music, except Christmas music.

If they made a movie about your life, who would you be played by?
Kristen Stewart.

What are you secretly good at?
Decorating for the holidays. 


Savanna Maradiaga, sophomore 

What is your favorite movie?
“A Knight’s Tale.”

What is your favorite app?
Pinterest.

What are two things you must have on road trips?
Snacks and old time rock.

If they made a movie about your life, who would you be played by?
J-Lo. 

What are you secretly good at?
Chugging…water.

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
Nicaragua.

Cougars down Pilots 73-62

Feb 04, 2017 - Posted by Alexa Anderson at 9:04 pm | Updated: February 4, 2017 9:10 pm | Permalink

Yoeli Childs scored on BYU's first possession out of halftime. TJ Haws then hit a 3-pointer on the next trip down the floor to cut Portland's lead to one, 34-33. BYU then went on a 5-0 run to take the 38-34 lead. 

Assisted by Nick Emery, Eric Mika finished the 3-point play to give the Cougars the 46-39 lead with 12:33 on the clock. The Pilots then went on a 9-1 run, retaking the lead 48-47. Portland extended its lead to five, 56-51. With 4:28 to go, Davin Guinn hit a trey to bring the Cougars within three, 61-58. Mika then hit three straight free throws to tie the game at 61-all. BYU then scored four quick points fueled by two big defensive stops.

The Cougars finished the game outscoring the Pilots 12-1. Mika finished the game with a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. Childs also ended the contest with a double-double, recording 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Pilots lead Cougars 34-28 at halftime break

Feb 04, 2017 - Posted by Alexa Anderson at 7:52 pm | Updated: February 4, 2017 7:55 pm | Permalink

Teams traded baskets through the first four minutes of the contest with the game tied at 8-all before the first media timeout. Eric Mika scored six of the Cougars' eight points. Portland then outscored BYU 14-6, making the score 22-14 with 8:14 to go in the half. 

On a pass from Elijah Bryant, L.J. Rose converted the 3-point play to bring the Cougars within five, 28-23. A Yoeli Childs bucket at the buzzer cut the Portland lead to six 34-28.

Mika led the Cougars with nine points and four rebounds, while Childs also recorded nine first half points along with four rebounds.