Season Begins at Kajikawa Classic

Sophomore outfielder Carly Duckworth and the Cougars get the 2012 season underway Thursday in Tempe, Ariz.

KAJIKAWA CLASSIC
Feb. 9-11, 2012
ASU Campus & Tempe Sports Complex
Tempe, Ariz.

Oregon State
Thurs., Feb. 9
12 p.m. MT
ASU Campus

No. 15 Texas A&M
Fri., Feb. 10
11 a.m. MT
SW Field

Texas State
Fri., Feb. 10
1:30 p.m. MT
NW Field

No. 11 Oregon
Sat., Feb. 11
11 a.m. MT
SE Field

UC Santa Barbara
Sat., Feb. 11
4 p.m. MT
SE Field


COUGAR QUICK HITS
— BYU's season opener against Oregon State is the first game of the 2012 NCAA Division I softball season.
— Last season at the Kajikawa Classic, BYU lost its first three games by a combined total of four runs before bouncing back to end the weekend with wins over Ole Miss and No. 19 Texas A&M.
— BYU softball is a member of the Western Athletic Conference after spending its previous 12 seasons in the Mountain West Conference. Softball is the only program at BYU that is in the WAC.
— BYU head coach Gordon Eakin begins his 10th season with a 371-160 (.699) record, placing him No. 18 among active coaches in career win percentage and would be No. 19 all-time on the same list (all-time list requires minimum of 10 years coaching). Last season, Eakin won his third-straight MWC Coach of the Year last season.
— The Cougars return three All-Conference performers, including senior Jessica Dugas and sophomore Carly Duckworth in 2011 and 2010 honoree JC Clayton, a junior this season.

OPPONENT NOTES
Oregon State
The Beavers return 15 letterwinners from a year ago, the majority of its offensive production and its entire pitching staff, including junior Tina Andreana and junior Ally Kutz. Erin Guzy, Oregon State’s top batter in 2011 with a .259 average, also returns. While OSU only batted .228 as a team last season, the Beavers held opponents to a .247 average partly due to pitching but also thanks to a team .967 fielding percentage.

Texas A&M
The Aggies return their top pitcher, junior Mel Dumezich, who posted a 1.92 ERA, 30-10 reord and 262 strikeouts in 44 appearances. Last season, BYU faced Texas A&M’s other starting pitcher, Lindsey Sisk, who is also returning this season after posting a 14-5 record. BYU beat the Aggies, 7-2, after Carly Duckworth hit a solo home run and Delaney Willard knocked a two-out, two-RBI double in the top of the seventh to seal the win.

Texas State
Texas State is coming off an NCAA Regional appearance after winning the Southland Conference Tournament last season. The Bobcats are led by three-time all-conference pitcher Chandler Hall, who was not only the ace in the circle but also led the team with a .359 average last season. This is BYU’s third contest against Texas State after splitting a pair of games in 2006.

Oregon
BYU looks to avenge last season’s 3-2 season-opening loss to Oregon last year. The Cougars led the first four innings before the Ducks stole the lead and the game. Pitcher Jessica Moore may have the chance to beat BYU a second straight year. Moore comes back after being named All-Pac-12, helping Oregon advance to the Super Regional last season. Top hitters include sophomore Courtney Ceo (.378 avg, 64 hits) and senior Kelsey Chambers (13 HR, 21 extra base hits) to a team that lost only two of last season’s starters.

UC Santa Barbara
BYU has won its last five games against UCSB, including two in 2010. The Gauchos return Keilani Jennings who led the team with a .317 average, including 15 doubles and six home runs, along with its next three best hitters from 2010 who each had averages above the .300 mark. A young team, UCSB also returns its top pitchers, Andriana Collins and Krista Cobb from a team that went 27-26 last year.

COUGARS EARN VOTES IN TOP 25 POLLS
The BYU softball team earned votes in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate and USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 preseason polls released today. The Cougars garnered eight votes and one vote, respectively, in the polls.

In addition, the Cougars’ 2012 schedule inclues nine schools ranked or receiving votes in the ESPN.com poll and 11 schools in the USA Today rankings. Top programs BYU will face this season include defending national champion and No. 1/1 Arizona St. (Mar. 15), No. 4/2 Florida (Feb. 24), No. 11/16
Oregon (Feb. 11), No. 15/17 Texas A&M (Feb. 10, Feb. 24) and No. 16/11 Oklahoma St. (Feb. 23).

With eight votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll, BYU would be tied for No. 29 if the poll were to be extended while its one vote in the USA Today/NFCA Division I poll would place the Cougars tied at No. 39.

BYU is coming off a 40-18 record in 2010. Head coach Gordon Eakin won Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars to their third-straight conference title and seventh-straight NCAA Regional.

Playing in the Western Athletic Conference this season, BYU returns three All-MWC honorees, including senior Jessica Dugas, junior JC Clayton and sophomore Carly Duckworth.

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Kajikawa Classic Notes.pdf1.66 MB