Following an off-week after consecutive shutout losses to Arizona Mar. 11, the Cougars are on the road to California, where they will face Santa Clara Friday and Fresno State Saturday. Both are doubleheaders beginning at 1 p.m. Fans can listen to Saturday's doubleheader live at http://www.espn1430.com/ on the web.
The Cougars have continued to see stiff competition in their inaugural season, travelling to Arizona two weeks ago to face their fourth top-15 opponent of the season. Against the Wildcats, BYU managed just two hits to fall, 2-0 in the first game and 10-0 in the second. The Cougars were no-hit in the first game for first time this season and dropped to 0-5 against ranked opponents.
Third baseman Tracy Farley experienced a broken cheekbone and orbital lobe over a month ago after being struck in the face by a ball. She will be out at least three more weeks. Megan Johnson, a freshman from Sandy, Utah, will continue at the hot corner until Farley returns to action.
BYU Probable Starters
*C -Angie Christiansen - R/R, Jr. (.200, 5 hits, 2 runs, 4 RBI)
*1B - Mindy Hanson - R/R, Jr. (.250, 10 hits, 5 runs, 10 RBI)
*2B - Jackie Ellis - R/R, Jr. (.317, 13 hits, 8 runs, 6 RBI)
*SS - Becca Erickson - R/R, Jr. (.326, 14 hits, 4 runs, 4 RBI)
*3B - Megan Johnson - R/R, Fr. (.167, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 RBI)
*RF - Brooke Cadiente - R/L, Fr. (.174, 8 hits, 7 runs, 10 RBI)
*CF - Liz Smith - L/R, So. (.333, 15 hits, 8 runs, 2 RBI)
*LF - Lindsay Hodgen - R/R, Jr. (.298, 14 hits, 11 runs, 1 RBI)
Catcher Cassie Martin, ranked third in the nation at her position by USA Today in 1998, will return to the lineup this weekend after being sidelined the entire season due to ankle surgery. Martin will likely DH in one game and catch in another, though the exact games have not yet been determined. Junior Angie Christiansen has started for Martin in her absence, compiling a .200 average in 15 games.
Outfielder Emily Fernley, the lone holdover from BYU's club softball team, will start in right field in a game this weekend to give regular right fielder Brooke Cadiente a break. The game is also undetermined at this point.
One of two Division I transfers on this year's BYU team, University of Arizona transfer Meghann Pricer held her former team to just three hits and one earned run, but with no run support, picked up her fourth loss of the season to even out at 4-4. Pricer leads the team in ERA (2.10) and strikeouts (41), and will likely start in a game each day. Ricks College transfer Maryon Dewitt will fac both teams as well. Dewitt allowed 11 hits in four innings against Arizona and raised her season ERA to 3.88. Dewitt is 3-3 on the season. Lindsay Jones will be available for relief work both days.
BYU Team Leaders
Just one of two Cougars to get a hit off Wildcat pitchers, outfielder Liz Smith remained at the top of the leader list with a team-high .333 batting average. Smith also leads in hits (15) and is tied for the lead in doubles with three. Fellow outfielder Lindsay Hodgen remains the Cougar leader in runs scored (11) and stolen bases (9). First baseman Mindy Hanson is tied with teammate Brooke Cadiente with the most RBI (10).
BYU Against Ranked Teams
The Cougars head into the weekend with a 0-5 record against top-25 teams, having lost to No. 1 Washington, No. 11 Stanford, and No. 12 California in early season tournaments and twice to No. 2 Arizona in the Mar. 11 doubleheader. Three of the five losses were shutouts. Against those teams, the Cougars were held to a .145 batting average off of 16 hits. They scored six runs and were struck out 43 times. BYU's pitchers have a 7.00 ERA against ranked teams, allowing 47 hits, walking 17 and striking out 19.
Scouting Santa Clara
The Broncos head into the weekend with a 2-17 record, including an extra-inning loss to 10th-ranked Stanford last weekend. Santa Clara's wins have come against San Diego (a team the Cougars split against earlier in the season) and a 3-0 victory over Mountain West Conference team Utah, currently second in the conference.
Scouting Fresno State
The Cougars will have their hands full Saturday against Fresno State, ranked seventh in this week's USA Today/NFCA Poll. The Bulldogs are 24-9 on the season, falling to unranked CS Northridge last Saturday before defeating Mountain West Conference team UNLV later that day. The 1998 National Champions, Fresno State is a team carried by its pitching, led by three-time All-American pitcher Amanda Scott. Scott has gone 16-3 with a .057 ERA this season. In 146 innings, she has struck out 158 and allowed just 12 earned runs. As a team, the Bulldogs boast a .081 ERA . On the offensive end, the Bulldogs are led by sophomore second baseman Lovieanne Jung, who has compiled team-highs in batting average (.340), slugging percentage (.426), hits (32) and RBI (17).
Fresno State Probable Starters
*C -Pam West - Fr. (.109, 6 hits, 0 runs, 0 RBI)
*1B - Angela Cervantez - Sr. (.258, 23 hits, 7 runs, 16 RBI)
*2B - Lovieanne Jung - So. (.340, 32 hits, 11 runs, 17 RBI)
*SS - Alicia Dowland - Jr. (.140, 12 hits, 6 runs, 9 RBI)
*3B - Lindsay Fossatti - So. (.183, 17 hits, 8 runs, 6 RBI)
*RF - Vanessa Czarnecki - So. (.198, 17 hits, 15 runs, 2 RBI)
*CF - Becky Witt - Jr. (.291, 32 hits, 18 runs, 4 RBI)
*LF - Kristen Hunter - So. (.267, 27 hits, 11 runs, 12 RBI)
Mountain West Conference Play Kicks Off Next Weekend
BYU will begin its first season of Mountain West Conference play at UNLV next Friday. The Cougars will then face San Diego State the following day. Both meetings are doubleheaders.
Mountain West Conference Standings (as of 3/21/2000)
Team W L Perc. H A N Streak
New Mexico 20 11 .645 4-2 3-3 13-6 Won 2
Utah 17 15 .531 0-0 2-0 15-15 Lost 1
UNLV 13 14 .481 9-4 0-2 4-8 Lost 6 BYU 7 8 .467 0-0 3-4 4-4 Lost 2
San Diego St. 13 17 .433 6-8 1-3 6-6 Won 1
Colorado St. 8 14 .364 0-0 1-4 7-10 Won 1
Preseason Mountain West Conference Coaches' Poll
BYU was picked by the coaches in the Mountain West Conference to finish last in the conference in the preseason poll released Jan. 26. 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 (3) 23
2. New Mexico (2) 21
3. San Diego State (1) 18
4. UNLV 13
5. Colorado State 10
6. BYU 5