PROVO -- The BYU women's softball team travels to play in the annual "Softball by the Beach" tournament hosted by the University of California-Santa Barbara. The Cougars will play host UCSB on Thursday before playing two game on Friday and Saturday. BYU is currently 5-3 and defeated No. 24 Texas A&M last Saturday.
"We are hoping to get off to a fast start, but I think we'll get better as the tournament continues,' head coach Gordon Eakin said. "We expect to improve game-by-game."
Last season, the Cougars lost to UCSB 4-2 playing on a Thursday as well. Junior Oli Keohohou hit a home run against the Gauchos last year but it proved to be the only scoring of the day. UCSB has an 11-3 record and look to be a tough opening opponent for the weekend.
On Friday the Cougars will take on San Diego and Cal-State Northridge. Last season, San Diego gave the Cougars their only loss, a 2-1 defeat, in the Southern Utah Classic in the opening weekend from the season. The Toreros (0-5) haven't won a game this season and are desperate to get a win against BYU.
Cal-State Northridge is 6-5 on the season and hopes to capitalize that it is playing very close to home.
On Saturday, the Cougars will take on Big 12 school Kansas. The two teams have never met before and the Jayhawks look strong with a 7-1 record. The Cougars will also play Cal-Poly on Saturday and look to avenge a heartbreaking 7-6 loss in St. George that saw the Cougars squander the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"We seem to be healthy we didn't have a lot of practice time between our last weekend and this tournament," Eakins said. "The one day we did have between practice before traveling, we were stuck inside due to weather."