Cougars picked tied for first, four on Preseason All-WCC Team
SAN MATEO, Calif. — BYU softball was picked tied for first in conference as voted on by the West Coast Conference coaches, the league announced on Tuesday. The Cougars also had four players named to the Preseason All-WCC Team: Huntyr Ava, Violet Zavodnik, Martha Epenesa and Chloe Temples.
Both BYU and Loyola Marymount earned 23 points overall, receiving three first place votes apiece. The two teams finished tied for first in the conference last season, each earning a share of the WCC title with LMU receiving the league's auto bid to the NCAA Tournament off a tiebreaker.
|2023 WCC Softball Preseason Coaches Poll|
|Place||Institution||Points (First Place Votes)|
The two teams were again knotted with four total players on the Preseason Team lists, each with three position players and one pitcher earning a preseason nod. Santa Clara had the second-most players, with two position players and one pitcher for a total of three overall.
|2023 WCC Softball Preseason Team|
|Emma Bickford||Santa Clara|
|Marissa Nishihara||Saint Mary's|
|Alexia Torculas||San Diego|
|Ashley Trierweiler||Santa Clara|
|Hannah Edwards||Santa Clara|
Ava and Zavodnik have each received national recognition this preseason. Extra Innings has dubbed Ava the 12th-ranked first- or third-baseman, while Zavodnik was ranked the fifth-best outfielder by D1Softball.com. The pair finished 1-2 in batting average, hits, home runs, RBI, total bases and slugging percentage last season.
Epenesa concluded the 2022 campaign tied for first in doubles (13), second in runs (46), third in hits (53) and home runs (9) and fourth in batting average (.349), slugging percentage (.612) and on-base percentage (.471). Temples posted a 2.12 ERA, 15-3 record in 25 appearances with eight complete games and a team-high 140 strikeouts in 115.2 innings pitched.
Ava, Zavodnik and Epenesa each earned All-WCC First Team honors last season, with Temples being named to the Second Team. Zavodnik and Temples both received the WCC Player or Pitcher of the Week award twice in 2022.
The Cougars begin their season on Thursday, Feb. 9, with a doubleheader against North Carolina and Wisconsin at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
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