(Photo by Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah--The BYU softball team will play CSU Bakersfield this weekend at Gail Miller Field in doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday to kick off an 11-game home stand which will close out the regular season for the Cougars.
Friday's doubleheader will begin at 5 p.m. MDT with the second game starting 30 minutes after the completion of game one. Saturday's doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. MDT and game two will also begin 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.
BYU is currently on a six-game winning streak, its longest of the season, and is over .500 for the first time this year with a 23-22 record.
Senior pitcher Hannah Howell earned her first PCSC Pitcher of the Week honor after holding Santa Clara scoreless in 12 innings pitched on Friday and Saturday.
Gordy Bravo and JC Clayton are currently on six-game hitting streaks. Clayton is just two stolen bases away from tying the all-time career record at BYU.
This will be just the second time BYU has played CSU Bakersfield. The Cougars have yet to beat the Roadrunners and have never played them in Provo. CSU Bakersfield is 9-11 in PCSC play and this will be their last conference series. BYU leads the conference at 12-4 and has one more conference series against Saint Mary's.
The Roadrunners come to Provo for their last conference series of the season, before closing out the regular season against No. 20 UCLA. CSU has taken at least a game from each team in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference, but has only won one conference series against Santa Clara, going 3-1 against the Broncos. The Roadrunners were 2-2 against LMU, 1-3 against UVU, 2-2 against San Diego and 1-3 against Saint Mary’s to compile a record of 9-11 in the PCSC. Senior Laura King, junior Karissa Veiga and junior Shay Fryer are all hitting above .300 on the season. Veiga leads the team in conference statistics with a .421 clip, 24 hits and nine runs scored. Fryer has added 10 RBI in PCSC play and provides power in the lineup with eight doubles, one triple and two home runs on the season. King leads the team in season-average, hitting .373 alongside a team-high .482 slugging percentage.
Underclassmen Kelsie Monroe and Amber Mills have seen a majority of the time this season from the mound and have combined for all 14 team wins this year. Monroe, a sophomore, is 10-16 alongside a 3.41 ERA and 102 strikeouts. Freshman Mills has given up just 50 earned runs in 24 appearances to grab a 3.42 ERA.
The Roadrunners have only turned five double plays this season to the Cougars' 16 and have only 32 stolen bases on the year to BYU’s 63. BYU has also allowed just 31 runs in conference play to CSU’s 72.
LAST CONFERENCE SERIES
The BYU softball team swept Santa Clara (3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 11-0) in its last away conference series of the season on Friday and Saturday. The Cougar pitching and defense combined to hold the Broncos to just seven hits in four games and didn't allow a single run to cross the plate. Hannah Howell and Tori Almond each went 2-0, giving up three hits apiece. Clayton and Bravo each hit a .500 clip against the Broncos. Clayton scored five runs and had two RBI and two stolen bases, while Bravo added three RBI, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Bailie Hicken also tied career highs in runs scored and RBI with two apiece, while also grabbing a career-high three hits, including her first career double in game four against the Broncos.
WHERE TO WATCH
All four games on Friday and Saturday will be broadcast live on BYUtv. Games can also be followed online via live stats.