Surging No. 23 BYU to compete in Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic
PROVO, Utah – Following a successful week at the DeMarini Desert Classic, No. 23 BYU softball prepares to face the top competition in the nation at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic this Thursday through Saturday in Cathedral City, California.
The Cougars (5-2, 0-0 West Coast Conference) will face three undefeated and ranked teams this week along with two other matchups. On Thursday, BYU will play a doubleheader against No. 11/12 Georgia and No. 9 Arizona starting at 10 a.m. PST. At 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. PST on Friday, the Cougars will play Louisville and LIU Brooklyn. The tournament will wrap up for BYU with No. 18 Texas A&M on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. PST.
All games will be played at the Big League Dreams Complex in Cathedral City, California. Links for live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page. Fans can also create an account on FloSoftball to stream the games live.
- In the three games played at the DeMarini Desert Classic last week, BYU went undefeated. The Cougars beat Hawai’i, Texas State and Nevada. The remaining two games scheduled were canceled due to rain.
- BYU will once again face three ranked teams in a tournament. In Cathedral City, BYU will face No. 11/12Georgia, No. 9Arizona and No. 18Texas A&M. They will also play LIU Brooklyn and Louisville. The game against the Cardinals is a rematch of the game the Cougars won at the 2016 NCAA Columbia Regionals.
- BYU moved up two spots inthe USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll this week to No. 23. Before entering the poll last week, the Cougars hadn’t been ranked since week 3 in 2011.BYU is also two out of the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 with 15 votes.
- Freshmen Rylee Jensen and Kerisa Viramontes swept the WCC weekly awards in the second week of play. Outfielder Jensen went 7/10 in the three wins last week, including a record-tying 3 doubles vs. Nevada. Over the week she had 6 doubles. Viramontes threw a no-hitter in her collegiate debut against Nevada. In the 8-0 run-rule victory over the Wolf Pack, she pitched 5 innings, with3 strikeouts and 1 walk. She is the second BYU freshman to throw a no-hitter after Paige Affleck in 2008.
- After the team had just one home run following the first week of play, BYU hit five homers last week at the DeMarini Desert Classic. Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge got the party started with a home run in the first game against Hawai’i. Ashley Thompson hit two bombs against Texas State, while sophomores Lexi Tarrow and Allie Hancock both hit the first home runs of their careers against Nevada in the same inning.
No. 11/12 Georgia (12-0, 0-0 SEC) | Thursday, Feb. 23 | 10 a.m. PST
- The Bulldogs are undefeated so far in 2017, all 12 of their wins coming at home. Nine of their wins are run-rule victories.
- In 2016, Georgia advanced to the NCAA Women’s College World Series and was knocked out by losses to Auburn and LSU.
BYU has not defeated Georgia in two tries. Both contests were in the 2008 NCAA Regional in North Carolina.
No. 9 Arizona (11-0, 0-0 Pac-12) | Thursday, Feb. 23 | 12:30 p.m. PST
- After playing all 11 games at home, the Wildcats own a perfect record, their best win coming over No. 21 Baylor. They have five mercy-rule wins.
- In 2016, Arizona reached NCAA Super Regionals but fell to Auburn.
Arizona leads the all-time series 6-1 over BYU. The Cougars’ first win over the Wildcats came in Tucson last season, a 4-2 win.
Louisville (7-2, 0-0 ACC) | Friday, Feb. 24 | 10 a.m. PST
- Like the Cougars, the Cardinals have started the season on the road, earning a 7-2 record.
The last game between BYU and Louisville came in the 2016 NCAA Columbia Regional. The Cougars’ 4-2 win knocked the Cardinals out of the tournament. BYU leads the all-time series 2-1.
LIU Brooklyn (3-6, 0-0 NEC) | Friday, Feb. 24 | 3 p.m. PST
- The Blackbirds have started 2017 on the road, playing all nine games in the state of Florida.
- In 2016, LIU Brooklyn advanced to the NCAA Baton Rogue Regionals after winning the Northeast Conference tournament.
The Cougars edge the Blackbirds 2-1 in the series history. The last win for BYU came in 2012, an 11-4 win at this same tournament in Cathedral City, California.
No. 18 Texas A&M (10-0, 0-0 SEC) | Saturday, Feb. 25 | 9:30 a.m. PST
- Rounding out the undefeated teams, the Aggies have also played all of their games at home, winning all 10, including three run-rule victories.
- Texas A&M went to the NCAA Regional in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2016. The host team, Louisiana-Lafayette, knocked out the Aggies.
- BYU holds a 6-5 overall series lead over Texas A&M. The Cougars last beat the Aggies in 2012 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona. The Aggies have won the last two matchups, both at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.