Coach Gordon Eakin (back row, second from right) and the BYU softball team travel to Louisiana Tech this weekend.
PROVO, Utah - Riding a four-game win streak in Western Athletic Conference play, the BYU softball team travels to Louisiana Tech for a three-game series this weekend.
BYU (28-12, 7-3 WAC) sits third in the conference standings while Lousiana Tech (18-23, 5-6) is sixth of eight teams after losing three games to No. 14 Hawai'i a week ago.
Cougar head coach Gordon Eakin will look to get his 400th career win over the weekend as he currently has an all-time record of 399-172 (.699) in his tenth season. Eakin is a three-time Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year who has led BYU to seven-straight NCAA tournament appearances.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
— BYU head coach Gordon Eakin is one win away from his 400th career victory and currently sits at a record of 399-172 in his 10th year as head coach.
— BYU junior pitcher Hannah Howell is returning to her home state of Louisiana this weekend as the Cougars play in the state for the first time ever. Howell, the only BYU softball player to ever come out of the state, leads the Cougars with 13 wins in 19 starts in addition to having two saves and 92 strikeouts on the year, all team highs.
— Senior outfielder Delaney Willard was named on of the Top 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Willard has emerged as an All-America candidate and is currently ranked in the NCAA top-20 in six different categories, including RBI per game (2nd, 1.50), slugging percentage (6th, .939), batting average (11th, .447), home runs per game (13th, 0.35), on base percentage (15th, .542) and home runs (17th, 14).
— With the newest RPI rankings released on Monday, BYU was ranked 36th, second-highest in the WAC. The Cougars have three wins over top-15 teams while all but one of BYU’s 12 losses have been to teams ranked 65th or better.
OPPONENT NOTES - LOUISIANA TECH
• BYU and Louisiana Tech have not played each other in 11 years. In the Cougars second year as a D1 program, the two teams faced off with BYU winning both games at a tournament in Arlington, Texas.
• This is BYU’s first-ever trip to play in the state of Louisiana.
• The Lady Techsters are 7-2 at home this season, including two wins against Utah State and a three-game sweep of New Mexico State.
• Janna Frandrup is the best hitter for LA Tech with 35 hits and 25 RBI on the season. She also draws more walks than almost anyone in the nation, having walked 34 times this season on the way to a .514 on base percentage. Frandrup has also appeared 13 times as a pitcher and has a 1.51 ERA.
• Louisiana Tech’s go-to hurler is Michelle Jones who sits at a 2.87 ERA and 11-10 record. She has 53 strikeouts, 59 walks and 54 earned runs in 131.2 innings pitched.
• The Lady Techsters have had trouble seeing the ball this season and are last in the WAC with a .238 team batting average overall and a .219 in conference games. The team is also last in the conference with a .947 overall fielding percentage.
• BYU and Louisiana Tech have no common opponents outside of conference play. In the WAC, LA Tech is 5-6, having gone 2-1 vs. Utah State, 0-2 vs. SJSU, 3-0 vs. New Mexico State and 0-3 vs. Hawaii. Conversely, BYU is 3-0 vs. Utah State, 3-0 vs. New Mexico State and 1-1 vs. Hawaii.
PROVO, Utah - BYU swept its Western Athletic Conference series at home against Utah State last weekend, winning in a rout, 15-6, before edging out close wins by scores of 2-0 and 6-4 in the final two games.
Stacie Toney hit a walk-off home run in game three to cap a thrilling, final-inning comeback. Toney also hit a home run in the first game to end the contest in six innings.
Delaney Willard had 4 RBI in game one and hit the game-tying home run in the seventh inning of game three two batters before Toney’s walk-off.
in game two, Tori Almond pitched a complete game shutout with six strikeouts to help the Cougars, who also beat UVU and lost at Idaho State earlier in the week.
BYU improved to 28-12 and 7-3 in the WAC, good for third place in the conference.
BYU has six walk-off wins this season and seven wins overall in the seventh inning, including last weekend in game three against Utah State when Stacie Toney hit walk-off home run to give BYU a 6-4 victory.
Opponent - Score going into 7th - Final Score - How Won
Oregon 1-1 2-1 Brawley reach on error, Duckworth run
Indiana 5-7 8-7 Dugas walk-off, 2-RBI single
Saint Joseph’s 1-2 3-2 Messerschmidt reach on error, Hudson run
Long Beach State 1-1 2-1 Duckworth walk-off, RBI-single
New Mexico State 2-2 3-2 Goar walk-off, RBI double
New Mexico State 3-3 6-3 Willard walk-off, 3-RBI home run
Utah State 3-4 6-4 Toney walk-off, 2-RBI home run