PROVO -- The BYU women's softball team (33-15, 10-7) finished the regular season as the No. 3 seed for the Mountain West Conference Tournament this weekend in San Diego, Calif. BYU will play against No. 6 seed UNLV (record) Thursday morning at 10 a.m. MDT. The winner of the game will face No. 2 seed Colorado State at 3 p.m. MDT Thursday afternoon.
BYU lead the Mountain West Conference in several offensive categories this season including batting average (.305), runs scored (279), doubles (58), total bases (633), walks (190), slugging percentage (.512), triples (15), on base pct. (.400), RBI (252), and home runs (56).
The Cougars are currently ranked 11th in the nation in batting average and runs per game. Updated statistics should be available at the ncaa.org web site on Wednesday.
BYU finished with its best regular season winning percentage at .688 in the four-year history of the program. The team needs only two wins to tie the school record of 35 wins, set in 2001 when the Cougars won the MWC crown and advanced to the NCAA tournament.
Senior Brooke Cadiente is known to come alive in the MWC Tournament. The 2001 Tournament MVP was also named to the All-Tournament team last season with her grand slam she hit against No. 1 seed San Diego State. Cadiente leads the conference in triples with three and is tied for second on the team in RBI with 36 along with teammate Neta Lei, who homered three times last week.
All-American Oli Keohohou leads the conference in every batting category including batting average (.445), runs scored (55), total bases (126), slugging percentage (1.059), triples (3), walks (50), on base pct. (.610), RBI (45), and home runs (19). Over the past two season, Keohohou tends to draw a ton of walks in the MWC Tournament and looks to help her team in scoring runs and getting on base.
Sophomore catcher Lauren Watson is having a career season batting .368 with nine home runs and 57 hits in the lead off position that ties her for second in the conference. Freshman Neta Lei is just behind her with a .365 batting average and seven home runs and 50 hits.
Freshman Brooke Boyce (11-4) is leading the Cougar attack on the mound with a 2.14 ERA and 31 appearances. BYU will need the help of seniors Cynthia Fallowfield (7-4) and Mandy Flint (7-2) along with sophomore Niki Andersen (8-5) to complete a good rotation over the weekend. All three pitchers have an ERA under 3.00.
The Cougars destroyed the Rebels in their first three meetings of the season with a sweep in Provo 9-1 (5), 8-0 (6) on a cold day that was delayed by an April snow fall. BYU dropped the first game 2-3 in Las Vegas after leading 2-1 going into the fifth but won 14-0 (5) in five innings. BYU eliminated the Rebels from the conference tournament in Provo last season.
The Rebels are led by pitcher Jackie Kerrigan (15-14) who has a 1.95 ERA and 136 strikeouts on the season. Lisa Moses leads the team with a .286 batting average with 44 hits and nine doubles.
If BYU wins the first game against UNLV, they will face No. 2 seed Colorado State at 3 p.m. MDT on Thursday. If the Cougars were to lose, they would place the loser of Thursday nights game on Friday at 10 a.m. MDT.
The Cougars swept Colorado State at home on April 25 12-3, 6-2 behind grand slams from freshman Ashlyn Russell and senior Cynthia Fallowfield. BYU took the first game at For Collins 3-1 before falling in the second game 3-4.
The Rams were the sixth seeded team last season but were the surprise of the tournament by beating No. 2 seed Friday night to advance to a Saturday game, the first in the school's history. CSU is lead by MWC Player and Pitcher of the Week Ricki Walker and Megan Masser, both juniors.
For information about the conference tournament, refer to the Mountain West Conference Tournament Tracker
FINAL MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE STANDINGS
Team W L T Pct. GB W L T Pct.
San Diego State...... 12 3 0 .800 -- 36 17 0 .679
Colorado State....... 13 7 0 .650 2.5 34 13 0 .723
BYU.................. 10 7 0 .588 3 33 15 0 .688
Utah................. 7 9 0 .438 5.5 20 25 0 .444
New Mexico........... 7 13 0 .250 7.5 24 35 1 .408
UNLV................. 4 14 0 .222 9.5 20 37 0 .351
Last updated May 5, 10 AM MT