PROVO -- The BYU softball team (20-11, 2-2) will play host to Southern Utah (23-12, 6-2) and the University of Utah (10-21, 2-2) this week to mark its third and fourth home games of the season. The Cougars will face the Thunderbirds on Thursday, April 8 at 5 p.m. and battle the rival Utes in a conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 10 starting at 2 p.m. at Gail Miller Field.
"These games will be two stern tests for us," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "We'll have to play well to come out on top."
After Thursday night's game fans are invited to stay at Gail Miller Field for a free country concert. Ty Perry and his band "Ty Perry and the Broken Bow Band" will be setting up in the fifth inning and performing after the game. Fans are encouraged to come to the game early, before the fifth inning, if they want to get a good seat.
A live audio cast will be available on April 10 against Utah by clicking on the BYU softball schedule page. Jay Monsen will provide the play-by-play. The live audio cast is also available on Direct TV and the Dish Network through the BYU Radio Channel. Live stats will also be available for both games by clicking the link on the BYU softball schedule page.
After playing six games last week, BYU comes into the games this week posting a 20-11, 2-2 record. The Cougars are coming off two wins over Utah Valley State College (15-2, 11-1) and a split with conference schools UNLV (L 6-3, W 5-3) and San Diego State University (W 6-2, L 5-2).
During the conference match ups, Ashlyn Russell led BYU batting .444 (4-9), with one double, two home runs and two RBI. Five Cougars also batted .300 or better for the MWC opening weekend.
As a team, BYU is batting .295 with 31 home runs in 31 games. Defensively, the Cougars have posted 14 double plays already this season, which ties the season record of 14 in 2002. Freshman Jodi Norton currently leads the Cougars with a .329 batting average, eight doubles and 22 RBI.
The pitching squad is posting a 3.05 overall ERA. Junior Niki Andersen who's coming off back-to-back MWC Pitcher of the Week honors (March 23, 30) stepped up for the Cougars last week to pitch 21.2 innings against UNLV and SDSU on a sprained ankle. Ariel Capra contributed 5.1 innings, and the return of pitcher Brooke Boyce is day-to-day.
April 8 Southern Utah 5 p.m.
April 10 Utah 2 p.m./ 4 p.m.
Southern Utah: 11-3