BYU Softball Headed in Right Direction

Head Coach Gordon Eakin was recently named as a coach for the USA Softball Team. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU softball team welcomes Southern Utah University for an evening double-header April 19 at Gail Miller Field in Provo.

The Cougars come in to today's contest having won 13 out of their last 14 games. Last weekend, BYU took care of Colorado State 6-5,4-3 and New Mexico 4-1,7-6 making the Cougars 9-1 in Mountain West Conference play while maintaining sole possession of first place.

BYU Leaders:

Senior Lauren Watson-Perry has a batting average of .430 and has scored 40 runs this season. Junior Paige Paramore leads the team in RBI with 38, and Junior Ashlyn Russell leads the team with 14 home runs and a .779 slugging percentage.

BYU (30-9) takes on SUU (14-19-1) today at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Cougar Recognitions and Milestones:

For three years, the BYU softball coaching staff, that includes head coach Gordon Eakin and assistant coaches Vaughn Alvey and Mindy Hanson, have worked together in making the program a force in the MWC while gaining national attention. Saturday's 7-6 win over New Mexico marked the 100th victory for the coaching staff after going 36-17 in 2003, 34-18 in 2004 and 30-9 to this point in the 2005 campaign.

"It's exciting to reach a hundred victories so quickly," Eakin said "It's a tribute to the effort of the coaches and players to establish a winning tradition in softball after just six years in the NCAA."

The strengths of the coaching staff have not gone unnoticed. Recently, Eakin was announced as one of 16 coaches for the United States Women's National team from 2005-2008. Eakin will be working with Mike Candrea who led the USA softball team to a Gold Medal during the 2004 Olympic Games.

"I am honored to be selected as one of the coaches," Eakin said. "I will accept the assignments as they come in working within the system that Mike Candrea has established. I also am looking forward to rubbing shoulders with and learning from a great coach like Mike."

In further BYU recognition, Lauren Watson-Perry was recently drafted 21st overall in the Ladies Pro Fastpitch Association (LPFA) senior draft. The selection was made March 11, and Watson-Perry was among the first ever batch of draftees.

"I'm really looking forward to continue playing softball," Watson-Perry said. "I didn't think I would ever get the chance to play after BYU. I'm completely excited and I realize it's a great opportunity for me."

The games for the LPFA begin May 26, 2005 and Watson-Perry said she expects that she will be working out a contract shortly after the BYU season if over.