(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
SEATTLE – Seniors Tori Almond, Carly Duckworth and Katie Manuma will play in their last NCAA Regional round where they played their first as freshmen--in Washington.
BYU made it to the championship game against Washington three years ago, but was unable to overcome the Huskies to move on to the super regionals.
The Cougars will open play against Northwestern on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. PDT at Husky Softball Stadium. A full tournament schedule can be found at GoHuskies.com.
BYU (33-21, 12-2 WCC)
The Cougars won the inaugural West Coast Conference Championship after finishing the regular season on a 15-game winning streak. They finished No. 51 nationally in scoring offense at 5.50 runs per game and No. 70 with 0.85 home runs per game.
They are led by WCC Co-Freshman of the Year Sydney Broderick with a .365 average, six home runs and 31 RBI. Senior Katie Manuma's bat came alive to end the season hitting six home runs in the final four weeks of the season. She set career highs with 12 home runs and 49 RBI.
Almond was named the WCC Pitcher of the Week for the second consecutive week after coming off an illness to lead BYU to two wins over Saint Mary's. She finished with a 2.14 ERA, tied with Summer Tobias for the second-best ERA in a season at BYU. Freshman McKenna Bull was named to the All-WCC Second Team and finished the season with a 3.04 ERA and 191 strikeouts.
Northwestern (33-16, 14-9 Big Ten)
Northwestern finished the season at 33-16 with wins over Minnesota, Nebraska and Washington during the year. The Wildcats have the No. 11 scoring offense in the country, averaging 6.59 runs per game. They also have the No. 9 batting average in the country at .332.
They are led from the plate by sophomore Brianna LeBeau with a .394 batting average, 10 home runs and 39 RBI. Senior Marisa Bast is the top RBI hitter on the team with 51 on the season to go along with eight home runs.
Sophomore RHP Kristen Wood is the ace in the circle for Northwestern with an 18-9 record, 3.55 ERA and 215 strikeouts.
Washington (33-13, 13-9 Pac 12)
Washington finished the season ranked in the top 10 by both major polls. The Huskies finished fifth in the Pac 12 standings and swept Cal in the final regular season series.
Senior Victoria Hayward leads the Huskies with a .424 batting average to go along with 22 RBI. Junior Kylee Lahners is the power hitter for the Huskies, leading the team with 17 home runs and 59 RBI.
Senior Bryanna Walker leads the team in the circle with an 18-8 record and a 1.68 ERA, while striking out 139. Senior Kaitlin Inglesby is second in the rotation with a 13-4 record, a 2.06 ERA and 111 strike outs.
Iona (24-22, 14-6 MAAC)
Iona claimed its fourth Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship in the last five years. The Gaels had the No. 24 batting average in the country at .316 and the No. 39 scoring offense averaging 5.65 runs per game.
Senior Eileen McCann leads the team with a .416 batting average, while freshman Kristin Turner leads the team with 11 home runs and 52 RBI.
The Gaels utilize junior RHP Carly Argyle, sophomore RHP Jordan Courage and freshman RHP Sarah McMahon in the circle. As a pitching staff, they maintain a 4.15 ERA with 202 strikeouts.