(Photo by Mark A. Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – After not playing last weekend due to weather, BYU softball prepares for Long Beach State, San Diego State, Baylor, Western Carolina University and UConn in the San Diego Classic II tournament Thursday through Saturday in San Diego.
Last time out, the Cougars played in the first game held outside the U.S. in NCAA softball history, improving to 13-6 with four wins in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge Feb. 26-28.
The defense is fueled by sophomore pitcher McKenna Bull with her 13-3 mark while posting an ERA of 1.90 so far this year. At the plate, junior Gordy Bravo continues her high-performance season while batting a team-high .492 and posting a team-high OBP of .528. McKenzie St. Clair and Lacey Hofstedt are both hitting at least .400 with .419 and .400, respectively.
Mercedes O'Connor has a team-leading 15 RBI on the year, but BYU has also seen run production out of Ashley Thompson (14 RBI), Bravo (13 RBI) and Sydney Broderick and Lauren Bell with 12 RBI apiece.
Recaps and links to live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.
LONG BEACH STATE (Thurs. 2 p.m. PDT | Live stats)
The 49ers take a 10-16 record into the tournament in San Diego, including a 4-11 record at neutral sites. Most recently Long Beach State went 0-5 at the Judy Garman Classic in Fullerton, California, but the team is capable of pulling off big wins with a resume that includes victories over UCLA and Utah.
Leading LBSU from the plate are Shayna Kimbrough (.364 BA, 4 SB), Julia Lombardi (.321 BA, 2 HR, 13 RBI), Lauren Lombardi (.321 BA, 4 HR, 25 RBI) and Darian Tautalafua (.301 BA, 4 HR, 13 RBI). Pitching duties have been split three ways among Christina Clermont (4-5, 3.11 ERA, 69.2 IP), Christian Carbajal (3-3, 3.57 ERA, 31.1 IP) and Amanda Hansen (3-7, 6.58 ERA, 44.2 IP). BYU is 2-3 all-time against Long Beach State with the last meeting a 12-3 loss in six innings in 2013.
SAN DIEGO STATE (Thurs. 4:30 p.m. PDT | Live stats)
The Aztecs are 15-8 with a 7-1 record at home and 7-6 on neutral fields. Most recently San Diego State went 4-1 in the Judy Garman Classic with wins over Pacific, Iowa, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton. Its lone loss on the weekend was to No. 3/2 Michigan.
Jordan Kayla (.408 BA, 1 HR, 10 RBI), Lorena Bauer (.356 BA, 4 HR, 23 RBI) and Jenavee Peres (.339 BA, 2 HR, 16 RBI) power SDSU at the plate while pitcher Erica Romero has thrown 110.1 innings with a 13-5 record and a 3.11 ERA.
BAYLOR (Fri. 4:30 p.m. PDT | Audio Stream)
The Bears are 14-5 and coming off a 2014 season in which they advanced to the Women’s College World Series. Baylor has wins over Oregon and Arizona with recent losses to Pacific, Michigan and Arizona State. The Cougars face the Bears for the first time in the school’s softball history.
From the batter’s box, Lindsey Cargill (.500 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI), Sarah Smith (.387 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI), Shelby Friudenberg (.366 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI) and Linsey Hays (.264 BA, 6 HR, 22 RBI) lead Baylor’s offensive effort. Pitcher Heather Stearns (5-4, 2.51 ERA, 53 IP) has seen the most action from the circle with Sarah Toben (4-0, 1.05 ERA, 20 IP), Kendall Potts (2-1, 1.81 ERA, 27 IP) and Brooke Seneshen (3-0, 2.52 ERA, 25 IP) all splitting the pitching duties as well.
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY (Sat. 9 a.m. PDT)
BYU faces the Catamounts for the first time ever this weekend in San Diego. WCU is 7-10 on the season with a 3-2 mark at the Winthrop Tournament last weekend.
Courtney Price is hitting .298 from the plate with two home runs and 10 RBI. Pitcher Jordan Garrett is 5-4 with a 2.18 ERA in 61 innings.
UCONN (Sat. 11:30 a.m. PDT)
The Huskies are 6-9 with a 2-3 mark at the Mizuno Classic last weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma. UConn picked up wins against Oklahoma State and Evansville. The Cougars are 1-0 against the Huskies with the lone win back in 2003. Emily O’Donnell (.370 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and Taylor Townsend (.317 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI) have paced UConn at the plate. From the circle, Lauren Duggan (4-4, 4.66 ERA) and Kayla Doty (2-3, 6.89 ERA) have split the majority of time.