PROVO -- The BYU women's softball team (18-9) is home at last after a long 27 games on the road. The Cougars will host the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Thursday (3 p.m./5 p.m.) and San Diego State on Friday (4 p.m./6 p.m.) at Gail Miller Field to mark the beginning of Mountain West Conference play.
UNLV is posting a 17-21 overall record heading into conference play coming off three losses to ranked teams including No. 1 Arizona and No. 20 Nebraska. SDSU, last year's regular-season conference champs, is notching a 21-16 overall record and is currently on a five-game win streak.
The first game of Friday's doubleheader against SDSU will be broadcast live on KBYU TV. Jay Monsen will provide the play-by-play and Garry Sheide will be the color analyst.
Live stats will be provided for both games. A link is available on the BYU softball schedule page.
BYU is coming off two wins from neighboring Utah Valley State College on Tuesday in Orem. The Cougars defeated the Wolverines 15-2 and 11-1 in five-inning games. BYU was hot at the plate with seven hitters batting .333 or better. The team recorded four doubles and two homers in the contests.
The Cougars are also coming off the Stanford Classic in Palo Alto, Calif. last weekend. BYU posted a 2-2 record against tough competition. The Cougars got a big 5-2 win over Hawai`i in California after losing to the Wahine the first game of the season in Hawai`i. In the third match up of the season against UC Riverside, BYU also got a nice 9-5 win over the Highlanders. BYU was defeated by two quality opponents including a 3-2 loss to Illinois (receiving votes in the top-25) and a close 7-5 loss to No. 12 Stanford.
"It was a good weekend for us," BYU defense and recruiting coach Mindy Hanson said. "We feel confident that we're in the right spot to start conference."
Overall in the Stanford Classic, the Cougars hit five doubles and six home runs. Freshman Jodi Norton led BYU offensively batting 6-13 (.462), nailing three home runs and bringing in seven RBI. Defensively, she posted 10 assists and two putouts.
Senior Lindsey Gerhauser also did an excellent job at second base in both games on Saturday as she filled in for an injured Kate Walker.
"Lindsey stepped up and did a great job," Hanson said. "We have a very tough bench who comes through for us."
For the pitching squad, Niki Andersen stepped up to lead the Cougars over Hawai`i 5-2. She recorded eight strikeouts and allowed no earned runs. Andersen is also coming off her first MWC Pitcher of the Week award (March 23). Against Central Connecticut State, Andersen pitched solid to record her first no-hitter of her career, which marks only the second one in BYU's history. The first was set by Maryon DeWitt-Wallentine on March 21, 2001 against Utah State.
BYU Earns MWC Player and Pitcher of the Week Awards on March 30
Shortstop Jodi Norton and right-handed pitcher Niki Andersen were named MWC Player and Pitcher of the Week on March 30 for their performances at the Stanford Classic. This is Norton's first MWC award of her BYU career and is Andersen's back-to-back MWC pitching honor.
April 1 UNLV 3 p.m./ 5 p.m.
April 2 SDSU 4 p.m./ 6 p.m. (Televised on KBYU)
* The second time of the doubleheader may very
BYU All-Time Records vs. MWC Opponents
SDSU: 4-11 (last year's regular-season champs)