The BYU softball team will play eight games this week, beginning with doubleheaders at 15th-ranked Nebraska Tuesday and at Creighton Wednesday before returning to Utah for twinbills at home Friday against Southern Utah and at conference-rival Utah Saturday. Friday's games versus Southern Utah will be the home opener for the Cougars in the newly-opened Gail Miller Field, the nation's fourth-largest college stadium (2,100 seats).
The Cougars continued conference play beating UNLV in the second game of a doubleheader 9-4, while losing the first game 4-3. The two games against San Diego State scheduled for Saturday were cancelled due to rain.
BYU Probable Starters
Â•C -Angie Christiansen - R/R, Sr. (.205, 16 hits, 8 runs, 11 RBI)
Â•1B - Mindy Hanson - R/R, Sr. (.261, 23 hits, 11 runs, 16 RBI)
Â•2B - Kari Pringle - R/R, Jr. (.312, 25 hits, 11 runs, 10 RBI)
Â•SS - Becca Erickson - R/R, Sr. (.237, 22 hits, 15 runs, 5 HR, 21 RBI)
Â•3B - Elizabeth Pierce-Boydston - R/R, Jr. (.319, 36 hits, 20 runs, 23 RBI)
Â•CF -Lindsey Hodgen-Kelly - R/R, Sr. (.286, 26 hits, 23 runs, 5 RBI)
Â•RF - Oli Keohohou- R/R, Fr. (.469, 46 hits, 42 runs, 16 HR, 48 RBI)
Â•LF - Liz Smith- L/R, Jr. (.271, 29 hits, 20 runs, 4 RBI)
Â•DH - Brooke Cadiente - R/L, So. (.286, 32 hits, 22 runs, 4 HR, 25 RBI)
Â•P - Maryon DeWitt-Wallentine - R/R, Sr. (10-11, 3.22 ERA, 121 SO)
After playing in 36 games, freshman Oli Keohohou is among the nation's elite in a variety of categories. She leads the NCAA's with 16 home runs, averaging .44 homers per game. Keohohou also ranks second in runs batted in with 48, averaging 1.33 RBI a game. She is fifth in the country, batting .469 with 46 hits in 98 at-bats. As a team, BYU is seventh in the nation in scoring with 196 runs in 37 games, an average of 5.30 runs a game.
Keohohou leads the MWC in batting average (.469), RBI (48), home runs (16), runs scored (41), total bases (104), slugging percentage (1.061) and on-base percentage (.592). As a team, BYU leads the conference in batting average (.281), slugging percentage (.448), triples (14) and is tied for the lead in total bases (473). Cougar pitchers have allowed the fewest hits in the conference (219) and have given up the fewest home runs (11).
After 37 games, Oli Keohohou leads the team in batting average (.469), hits (46), home runs (16), RBI (48), runs scored (42), walks (31) and slugging percentage (1.061). Elizabeth Pierce-Boydston leads the team in at-bats (113) and doubles (7). Lindsey Hodgen-Kelly leads the team in stolen bases (12) while five players are tied with two triples.
The Huskers have a 33-10 record, including a 7-1 Big-12 Conference record. They have won five in a row and 23 of their last 24. BYU lost to Nebraska 4-1 on March 2 at the Red Desert Classic. Kim Ogee is batting .309 with 43 hits and 25 RBI while teammate Nicole Trimboli is batting .297 with 38 hits, five home runs and 32 RBI. Leigh Ann Walker is 13-5 with a 1.52 ERA and 184 strikeouts in 119.2 innings of work. Peaches James is 9-4 with a 1.42 ERA and 67 strikeouts.
The Bluejays have a 14-20 record, including a 5-8 Missouri Valley Conference record. They have won five out of seven games after losing five-straight. Frenchy Nix has a .304 batting average with 28 hits and 11 RBI. Marie Gieron has a .297 batting average with 27 hits and 15 RBI. Jenny Hunt is 4-7 with a 2.21 ERA and 54 strikeouts while teammate Shelli Mellegaard is 6-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 89.2 innings of work.
Scouting Southern Utah
The Thunderbirds have a 19-22 record, including a 10-2 Mid-Continent Conference record. The Cougars are 1-1 against SUU this season, losing 7-5 in their first game of the year while beating them 8-0 in the Red Desert Classic in early March. Kelly Grundy leads the team with a .355 batting average and 44 hits, including seven doubles, four home runs and 23 RBI. Mandy Flint is 10-12 with a 2.11 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 162.1 innings pitched.
The Utes have a 24-17-1 record, including a 5-2-1 conference record and are currently in first place. They split a pair of games with both San Diego State and UNLV last week. Lyndsey Trevis has a .418 batting average and 56 hits, including 44 RBI and eight home runs. Melissa Stahnke has a .364 batting average and 47 hits, including 43 RBI and 14 home runs. Kristin Arbogast is 18-12 with a 2.45 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 221.1 innings of work. Last season, the Cougars were 1-3 against Utah.
The newly-opened Gail Miller Field at BYU's Miller Park has 2,100 chair seats all in the lower bowl, making it one of the top-10 seating softball facilities in the NCAA. The dimensions are 210 feet down the left and right field lines and 220 in center field. The field faces northwest and is located west of the BYU Marriott Center. The one-of-a-kind mirrored-image softball/baseball complex was made possible by primary donors Larry and Gail Miller, together with Sy and Betty Kimball. The tensile roof is constructed from a teflon fabric made by Japan's Birdair Corporation and is pulled taut by cables, similar to the design on the Denver International Airport.
Miller Park was built by Sahara construction with Salt Lake City
architect Valentiner/Crane. A shared press box houses radio and TV broadcasts and seating for print media and game-day operations. There are
separate locker rooms for visitors and Cougar clubhouses for both softball and baseball. The complex includes concession stands, a memorabilia mezzanine, handicapped seating, an elevator, an umpire room, a hosting facility, an equipment room, training room, indoor batting cages and coaches offices. Both fields are lighted. The softball scoreboard is located in right field and was manufactured by Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota.
Coach Mary Kay Amicone
Mary Kay Amicone was named BYU's first-ever varsity softball coach on May 6, 1999, three months after the announcement was made to upgrade the softball team from club to varsity status. In her first season, she led the team to a 16-27 (.372) record, including a 7-13 conference record, good for fifth place. Prior to becoming the head coach at BYU, Amicone served as an assistant coach at the University of Utah (1991, '93-95, '98-99). During that time, the Utes finished fifth ('91) and seventh ('94) at the NCAA Women's College World Series and were regional participants in 1995. She is assisted by Gordon Eakin and Lisa Hall.
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 1:30 p.m. at Gail Miller Field, west of the Marriott Center. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at (801) 378-3520.