After winning its first series ever last weekend against San Diego, the BYU softball team travels to St. George where it will face Washington, Tulsa, Utah State and Stanford in a tournament hosted by the University of Utah. Friday, the Cougars will take on Washington at noon, followed by Tulsa at 2 p.m. Saturday's action will include Utah State at 11 a.m. followed by Stanford at 2 p.m.
In its second weekend of action, the Cougars won a three-game series against San Diego. Meghann Pricer pitched the Cougars to a 2-1 win in the first game, and in the second, BYU rode an offensive explosion to post a five-inning 11-0 victory. The Toreros rebounded Saturday to win 2-1.
Third baseman Tracy Farley experienced a broken cheekbone and orbital lobe last week after being struck in the face by a ball, and after five hours of reconstructive plastic surgery, will be out for at least four to six weeks. Megan Johnson, a freshman from Sandy, Utah, will take over at the hot corner until Farley returns to action.
Catcher Cassie Martin, ranked third in the nation at her position by USA Today in 1998, is still out due to recent ankle surgery and is expected to be sidelined for at least two more weeks. In her absence, junior Angie Christiansen will take over behind the plate for the Cougars.
BYU Probable Starters
Â•C -Angie Christiansen - R/R, Jr. (.167, 2 hit, 0 runs, 1 RBI)
Â•1B - Mindy Hanson - R/R, Jr. (.286, 6 hits, 2 runs, 5 RBI)
Â•2B - Jackie Ellis - R/R, Jr. (.333, 7 hits, 2 run, 4 RBI)
Â•SS - Becca Erickson - R/R, Jr. (.286, 6 hits, 2 runs, 3 RBI)
Â•3B - Megan Johnson - R/R, Fr. (.125, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 RBI)
Â•RF - Brooke Cadiente - R/L, Fr. (.190, 4 hits, 4 runs, 4 RBI)
Â•CF - Liz Smith - L/R, So. (.368, 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 RBI)
Â•LF - Lindsay Hodgen - R/R, Jr. (.280, 7 hits, 7 runs, 1 RBI)
University of Arizona transfer Meghann Pricer will get the start against second-ranked Washington on Friday. Pricer has a 3-1 record with 18 strikeouts and a 1.64 ERA in six appearences this season for BYU. Two of her victories have been complete games, including last weekend's 2-1 win against San Diego. Maryon Dewitt, a product of Ricks College, will get the nod against in-state rival Utah State. Dewitt recorded her first Division I win last weekend to improve to 1-2 for the season and lower her ERA to 3.20. Coach Mary Kay Amicone has not yet decided on starters for the Tulsa and Stanford games. Either Pricer or Dewitt could get the call, as well as teammate Lindsay Jones, who made her first start in the loss to San Diego last weekend.
BYU Team Leaders
After seven games, outfielder Emily Fernley has appeared in five games to lead the team in batting average (.556). Shortstop Becca Erickson leads in doubles (3) while Lindsay Hodgen, Jackie Ellis, and Liz Smith are all tied for the team lead with seven hits each. Hodgen heads the Cougar squad with runs scored (7) and stolen bases (5) while first baseman Mindy Hanson remains the RBI leader with five.
Washington comes into the weekend with just one loss this season, a 4-2 defeat to Louisiana State on Feb. 18. Since then, the Huskies have won four straight and are currently ranked second in the USA Today/NFCA Poll. The team is led by sophomore catcher Jenny Topping, who has started in 10 games to post a .400 batting average. Four of Washington's regular starters bat over .360 and 10 currently hit over .300.
Tulsa, a member of the WAC, has accumulated a 5-8 overall record. Two of its losses have come against Mountain West Conference team New Mexico. The Golden Hurricane are led by outfielder Kari Curtis, who has started in eight games to post a .316 record.
Scouting Utah State
In-state rival Utah State is 2-3 and will take the field for the first time in nearly two weeks this weekend. The Aggies dropped early games to No. 11 Oregon State and No. 9 Arizona State before stringing together two wins against UNLV and Kansas. First baseman Sandy Taylor, a senior, has started every game this season and is the team leader with a .438 batting average, seven hits, and five RBI.
The other ranked team BYU will face this weekend, Stanford, is in 21st place in this week's USA Today/NFCA Poll. The Cardinal have compiled an 11-1 record, the team's sole loss coming Feb. 17 against Michigan. Sophomore first baseman Sarah Beeson leads the team's offensive assault, batting .421 with 16 hits and 15 RBI in the first 12 games of the season.
Mountain West Conference Standings (as of 2/22/2000)
Team W L Perc. H A N Streak
UNLV 9 4 .692 7-1 0-0 2-3 Lost 1
New Mexico 8 5 .615 4-2 2-1 2-2 Won 1
Utah 6 4 .600 0-0 0-0 6-4 Lost 1 BYU 4 3 .571 0-0 3-2 1-1 Lost 1
Colorado St.5 6 .455 0-0 0-2 5-4 Won 1
San Diego St.4 10 .286 3-6 0-2 1-2 Lost 2
Preseason Mountain West Conference Coaches' Poll
BYU was picked by the coaches in the Mountain West Conference to finish last in the conference in the preseason poll released Jan. 26. In-state rival University of Utah, where BYU head coach Mary Kay Amicone played and was an assistant coach for seven years, was picked to finish first.
Mountain West Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Utah (3) 23
2. New Mexico (2) 21
3. San Diego State (1) 18
4. UNLV 13
5. Colorado State 10
6. BYU 5
Practices are held daily at 3:30 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse Annex. Player or Coach Amicone interviews may be arranged in advance through Tricia Garner, BYU Athletic Media Relations, at (801) 378-8999. Additional information may be obtained through e-mailing Tricia at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at (801) 378-3520.