PROVO -- The BYU softball team will head to Fort Collins, Colo., to compete in the MWC Softball Championship Tournament Thursday through Saturday. Tournament host Colorado State is this season's regular season champions and is coming off a MWC Tournament win in 2003.
The Cougars go into the tournament as the No. 3 seed with a 34-17, 11-8 MWC record. BYU will play the No. 6 seed New Mexico on Thursday, May 13 at 9 a.m. The winner of that game will then face the No. 2 seed San Diego State at 2 p.m.
BYU is coming off a 3-1 MWC weekend with road games against UNLV and SDSU. The Cougars split with UNLV L 3-2, W 10-4 and swept the No. 1 conference leader SDSU 4-1, 5-1.
"It was an all-around great team effort," BYU defense and recruiting coach Mindy Hanson said. "We're disappointed with the loss against UNLV, but the girls came back very focused and determined. It's giving us good momentum going into the tournament."
As a team the Cougars are batting .307 and are ranked No. 15 in the nation in batting average and No. 11 in the nation in scoring (5.45 runs per game). Leading the way offensively for the Cougars is Paige Paramore with a .361 batting average. She is followed by teammates Ianeta Le`i (.355), Debbie Dodds (.339), Jodi Norton (.331), Kate Walker (.323) and Ashlyn Russell (.294). Paramore leads the team in hits (53) and Le`i leads the team in runs scored (32). Paramore, Le`i and Norton each post a team-high 11 extra base doubles this season and Lauren Watson leads in triples (4). Norton posts a team-high 39 RBI. BYU continues its long-ball offense hitting 54 home runs in 51 games with Russell leading the way with 11 home runs so far this season. Krystle Chamberlain leads in stolen bases with 11-out-of 12 attempts.
The BYU defense has turned 18 double plays so far this season, which breaks a new BYU record for most double plays in a season.
2003 season - - 13 DP's
2002 season - - 14 DP's
2001 season - - 11 DP's
2000 season - - 4 DP's
The pitching staff is posting a 2.35 overall ERA led by sophomore Brooke Boyce who registers a 1.74 ERA in 30 appearances. Boyce has pitched 15 complete games and posts a 13-8 overall record with 60 strikeouts. Junior Niki Andersen leads the trio with an 18-6 record and 116 strikeouts. Andersen has a 2.27 ERA and has pitched 13 complete games this season for BYU while appearing in 29 games. Junior Ariel Capra has appeared in 17 games this season to post a 4.20 ERA and a 3-3 record.
Final MWC Conference Softball Standings
1. Colorado State 16-4 40-13
2. San Diego State 14-6 36-22
3. BYU 11-8 34-17
4. Utah 8-12 20-31
5. UNLV 7-13 25-34
6. New Mexico 3-16 29-34