Two weeks after kicking off its inaugural season at the Early Bird Invitational in San Jose, the BYU softball team returns to California this weekend for three games against West Coast Conference team University of San Diego. The Cougars will take the field Friday for a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. before coming back for a third game Saturday at 1 p.m.
In its first weekend of Division I softball, the Cougars split four games at the San Jose State Early Bird Invitational. Thanks to the last-inning heroics of first baseman Mindy Hanson, BYU grabbed the first game against Sacramento State, 3-2, and won its first game against San Jose State, 7-4. Saturday, the Cougars were one-hit by 12th-ranked Cal before falling in their second game to San Jose State, 6-3.
Catcher Cassie Martin, ranked third in the nation at her position by USA Toda in 1998, is still out due to recent ankle surgery and is expected to be sidelined for an additional 4-5 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. (.111, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 RBI)
Â•1B - Mindy Hanson - R/R, Jr. (.333, 4 hits, 0 runs, 5 RBI)
Â•2B - Jackie Ellis - R/R, Jr. (.385, 5 hits, 1 run, 2 RBI)
Â•SS - Becca Erickson - R/R, Jr. (.182, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 RBI)
Â•3B - Tracy Farley - R/R, Jr. (.091, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 RBI)
Â•RF - Brooke Cadiente - R/L, Fr. (.182, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 RBI)
Â•CF - Liz Smith - L/R, So. (.333, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 RBI)
Â•LF - Lindsay Hodgen - R/R, Jr. (.357, 5 hits, 4 runs, 1 RBI)
Head coach Mary Kay Amicone has yet to name a starting pitcher for Friday's first game. She has three pitchers to draw from, Meghann Pricer, Maryon Dewitt and Lindsay Jones. Pricer comes to BYU from nationally ranked Arizona, and has gotten both of BYU's wins this season. In her debut weekend as a Cougar, Pricer recorded a 2.38 ERA and 10 strikeouts. Dewitt, a product of Ricks College, is 0-2 this season with a 5.52 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched, while Jones has pitched in relief to go without a decision. All three are likely to see action in this weekend's games.
BYU Team Leaders
After four games, second baseman Jackie Ellis leads the team in batting average (.385) and slugging percentage (.692). Ellis also leads in doubles (2) and is tied with teammate Lindsay Hodgen for the most hits (5) and total bases (9). Hodgen heads the Cougar squad with runs scored (4) and stolen bases (2) while first baseman Mindy Hanson is the RBI leader with five.
Scouting San Diego
Following a weekend win over CS Dominquez Hills, the Toreros are 4-3 on the season. Pitcher Amy Lopez got the win to improve to 2-2 and lower her season ERA to 1.69. Jade Quentin, a pitcher as well as infielder, leads the team with a 2-0 pitching record and .350 batting average. Two of San Diego's other season wins came against CS San Bernadino, while the other one came two weeks ago against Mountain West Conference team San Diego State University.
Mountain West Conference Standings
As of February 15, 2000, BYU ranked third in the conference with its record of 2-2. New Mexico is in first with a 6-2 record, while UNLV boasts a 4-3 record. Colorado State and Utah are each 2-3, while San Diego State rounds out the standings at 2-7.
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 email@example.com or by fax at (801) 378-3520.