The BYU softball team will begin its second season as an NCAA Division-I team in St. George, Utah, where it will compete in the Southern Utah University Thunderbird Classic. The Cougars will first take the field Friday against tournament host SUU at 6 p.m. On Saturday, BYU will play No. 16 Oregon St. at 10 a.m., Saint Mary's at 2 p.m., and Oregon St. again at 4 p.m.
BYU Probable Starters (Last Year's Stats)
Â•C -Angie Christiansen - R/R, Sr. (.175, 11 hits, 3 runs, 9 RBI)
Â•1B - Mindy Hanson - R/R, Sr. (.300, 36 hits, 13 runs, 20 RBI)
Â•2B - Jackie Ellis - R/R, Sr. (.301, 37 hits, 22 runs, 17 RBI)
Â•SS - Becca Erickson - R/R, Sr. (.250, 31 hits, 12 runs, 13 RBI)
Â•3B - Liz Boydston - R/R, Jr. (transfer from Cal State-Northridge)
Â•RF - Oli Keohohou - R/R, Fr. (Newbury Park High School)
Â•LF - Liz Smith - L/R, Jr. (.312, 35 hits, 18 runs, 6 RBI)
Â•CF - Lindsey Hodgen-Kelly - R/R, Sr. (.283, 39 hits, 18 runs, 6 RBI)
Â•DH - Brooke Cadiente - R/L, So. (.189, 25 hits, 16 runs, 18 RBI)
Â•P - Maryon DeWitt-Wallentine - R/R, Sr. (9-10, 2.74 ERA, 108 SO)
Scouting Southern Utah
The Thunderbird Classic will be the first game of the season for Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds return six starters from last year's squad that went 23-37. SUU had a 17-9 Mid-Continent conference record, good for second place, while also going 2-2 in post-season action.
Scouting Oregon St.
16th-ranked Oregon State will also open its season against BYU. The game marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Beavers finished one game shy of the College World Series last season, losing to eventual National Champion Oklahoma in the Regional Tournament. OSU returns 12 players, including seven starters, from last year's 40-21-1 team that finished the season at No. 12.
Scouting Saint Mary's
St. Mary's comes into the tournament having already played two games. They took on San Francisco State in a doubleheader, Jan. 31, to open the season. The Gaels return just six players from last season's 24-33 squad.
Preseason Mountain West Conference Coaches' Poll
BYU was picked by the coaches in the Mountain West Conference to
finish fifth in the conference in the preseason poll released Jan. 25. 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 (5) 25
2. New Mexico (1) 20
3. San Diego State 15
4. Colorado State 11
5. BYU 10
6. UNLV 9
Practices are held daily at 4:30 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse Annex. Player or Coach Amicone interviews may be arranged in advance through Shane Bevell, BYU Athletic Media Relations, at (801) 378-8999. Additional information may be obtained through e-mailing Shane at email@example.com or by fax at (801) 378-3520.