Freshman Katie Manuma has 18 hits in her first year as a Cougar. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
BYU softball looks to extend its 16-game home win streak hosting San Diego State on Thursday, Apr. 28, and UNLV in a two-game stand against UNLV Friday and Saturday, Apr. 29-30, at Gail Miller Field.
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COUGAR QUICK HITS
— BYU has won 17 of its last 18 games, including a streak of 12 wins before a 1-0 loss in extra innings at SDSU. The Cougars have outscored their opponents 130-19 in the last 18 games and are currently on a five-game win streak.
— Dating back to the last seven home games of 2010, BYU currently owns a 16-game win streak at Gail Miller Field having won its first nine games at home this season.
— For the second week in a row, BYU earned MWC Co-Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors. Senior Caschjen Atagi earned POW honors after hitting three home runs in two games and garnering four RBI.
— Freshman pitcher Tori Almond won her second Pitcher of the Week award this season after allowing zero earned runs in three appearances, picking up two wins.
— BYU is currently tied with rival Utah atop the Mountain West Conference standings with a 5-1 conference record. San Diego State is a close second at 5-2.
— Junior center fielder Jessica Dugas has 12 stolen bases on the year, tied for the seventh most in a season in BYU history. Dugas’ 20 career stolen bases is also tied for 10th in program history.
OPPONENTS SERIES NOTES
San Diego State comes into Provo after splitting an earlier series against the Cougars. BYU pitcher Paige Affleck and SDSU pitcher Bailey Micetich pitched back-to-back complete games, both of which went into extra innings, with BYU taking the first game 1-0 before SDSU came back for its own 1-0 win. The Aztecs are currently a half game behind BYU and Utah in the MWC standings.
Micetich leads the MWC with a 1.45 ERA and has a record of 16-9. Lorena Klopp is cur- rently tied with Cougar pitcher Jessica Fitu with 42 RBI on the season. In MWC play, Aztec Jessica Camello leads all batters with 14 hits and a .560 batting average in seven games.
UNLV lost to BYU 14-0 in Las Vegas earlier this year behind a career day by BYU’s Jessica Dugas. The 14 runs tied a series-high, with BYU leading the overall series 33-12. BYU is 18-2 against the Rebels in Provo as UNLV has not won a game at Gail Miller Field since 2005.
UNLV’s Tayler Van Acker is third in the conference with a .500 batting average in seven MWC games while Rebel freshman ace Amanda Oliveto has a 3.82 ERA in conference play and is second with 31 strikeouts, earning a 3-4 record in the Rebels’ seven conference games.
BYU has 13 players with at least one stolen base so far this year, led by junior Jessica Dugas with 12 steals. Eight players have four or more. The Cougars have 63 stolen bases overall, already the second- most in a season by a BYU team and just four away from tying the team record of 67 set in 2008.
BYU is 19-0 when scoring at least six runs and 24-0 when leading after five innings. In addition, 12 of BYU’s 15 losses have come by three runs or fewer.
BYU GAINS MULTIPLE MWC WEEKLY HONORS
Seven BYU players has claimed nine MWC Player or Pitcher of the Week honors so far this season, the most players and awards won by any single MWC school this season. Senior catcher Jessica Fitu and freshman pitcher Tori Almond have won two apiece.
All three Cougar pitchers have claimed at least one award as have all four BYU senior captains: pitcher Paige Affleck, third baseman Caschjen Atagi, second baseman Kristin Delahoussaye and Fitu. Junior first baseman Stacie Graham has also been honored by the MWC this season, as has sophomore pitcher Hannah Howell.
GRAHAM, AFFLECK EARN MWC HONORS
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- BYU third baseman Caschjen Atagi and University of Utah designated player Brittany Parker have been named Mountain West Softball Co-Players of the Week, while BYU freshman Tori Almond has been named Pitcher of the Week, for games played from April 18-24.
BYU was 4-0 last week, including 3-0 in conference action, and are tied with Utah atop the MWC standings at 5-1. It is the first weekly honor of Parker and Atagi’s careers and the second honor for Almond this season.
Atagi, a 5-3 senior from Imperial, Calif., led the Cougars to a 4-0 record last week with a non-con- ference win against neighbor Utah Valley and a 3-0 league weekend against Colorado State and New Mexico. The former Caschjen Davis started off the week with a run and two walks against UVU on Tuesday before breaking out in three Conference games. Atagi was 2-for-3, both home runs, with three runs scored, four RBI and a walk against New Mexico on Thursday in the 11-3 win in Provo. Her strong hitting continued the next two days against Colorado State. Against the Rams on Friday, Atagi went 1-for-1, a home run, with two runs scored, four RBI and two walks in the 15-0 win. In the series closer on Saturday, she was 1-for-3 with two RBI in the 8-0 win.
Almond, a 6-1 freshman from South Jordan, Utah, did not allow a run all week, going 2-0 in three ap- pearances for BYU for a 0.00 ERA. She allowed just four hits, none of which went for extra bases, while holding opponents to a .105 average. Almond came on for four innings of relief against Utah Valley on Tuesday, earning the 7-3 win after giving up no hits, no runs and just one walk with three strikeouts to help BYU get the come-from-behind win. In BYU’s first game against Colorado State on Friday, Almond pitched the final two innings of the game, again allowing no hits, no runs and no walks with a strikeout, combining with starting pitcher Paige Affleck for a one-hit 15-0 shutout. Almond started the second game against the Rams on Saturday, allowing no runs for the third time with just one walk and four hits while striking out seven batters, one short of the freshman’s career high, to pitch the complete- game 8-0 shutout.