PROVO -- On Thursday BYU's season debut in softball begins as it hosts the 11-team Red Desert Classic in St. George.
"We are very excited and the team has been preparing hard," said Angie Quiocho, a senior from Walnut, Calif. "This is where we first hit the dirt, and we are anxious to see how we do."
The Cougars face off against San Jose State for the first game on Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. Joining BYU in the tourney are Utah, Utah State, Utah Valley, Idaho State, Maine, Seattle, Tulsa, UC Santa Barbara, Northern Colorado and San Jose State.
"Our coaching staff has really been supportive and they constantly motivate us to reach our greatest potential as a team," said Tiffany Messerschmidt, a sophomore from Thousand Oaks, Calif. "We, as a team, make every practice game-like by hitting against our pitchers which are the best in the conference. I know that we have prepared ourselves well for St. George."
BYU has opened their fourth-straight season by hosting the tournament at the Canyons Softball Complex.
On Friday the Cougars compete back-to-back against Seattle at 1:30 p.m., and then Santa Barbara at 4 p.m.
BYU plays its second doubleheader of the season on Saturday against Maine and Tulsa at 1:30 and 4 p.m. respectively.
With eight starters returning to the team, including both pitchers and All-American Jessica Pucell-Fitu, the Cougars hope to remain a force to be reckoned with.
In 2009 the Cougars finished the season 40-18, 12-2 MWC, competing in the fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament. The Red Desert Classic is the first of seven tournaments for the Cougars, who return to St. George on April 2-3 for the Pre- Conference Tournament.
All Red Desert Classic games are listed below and will be updated during the tournament.
Red Desert Classic
Thu, Feb 11
BYU (5) vs. San Jose St. 9-5 (BYU)
UCSB (5) vs. No. Colorado 6-3 (UCSB)
Maine (1) vs. Idaho St. 6-5 (Idaho State)
Fri, Feb 12
No. Colo.(5) vs. Seattle 8-7 (Northern Colorado)
Maine (1) vs. Utah St. 7-6 (Utah State)
Utah (4) vs. San Jose St. 8-0 (Utah...in 5 innings)
Tulsa (3) vs. Idaho St 8-0 (Tulsa)
Seattle (5) vs. BYU 3-2 (BYU)
Utah Valley (1) vs. Maine 10-8 (UVU)
Utah St. (4) vs. Idaho St. 9-0 (Utah State)
Tulsa (3) vs. UCSB 3-1 (UCSB)
BYU (5) vs. UCSB 13-3 (BYU)
San Jose St.(1) vs. Utah Valley 7-3 (San Jose State)
Utah (4) vs. No. Colorado 6-5 (Utah)
Sat, Feb 13
UCSB (5) vs. Maine 3-2 (UCSB)
Idaho St. (1) vs. Utah 5-3 (Utah)
San Jose St.(4) vs. No. Colorado 15-8 (San Jose State)
Tulsa (3) vs. Utah St. 8-1 (Tulsa)
Maine (5) vs. BYU 9-1 (BYU)
Utah Valley (1) vs. Idaho St. 10-4 (UVU)
San Jose St.(4) vs. Seattle 7-3 (San Jose State)
No. Colo. (3) vs. Utah St. 7-3 (Utah State)
BYU (5) vs. Tulsa 7-5 (BYU)
UCSB (1) vs. Utah Valley 4-2 (UCSB)
Seattle (4) vs. Utah 9-1 (Utah)
Sun, Feb 14
Utah (5) vs. Tulsa 6-5 (Utah)
Seattle (1) vs. Utah St. 4-3 (Utah State)
Utah St. 4-1
San Jose St. 3-1
Idaho St. 1-4
N. Colo. 1-4
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