BYU softball: Cougars travel to Easton Desert Classic

By Jamie Morris

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13 2013 3:44 p.m. MST

PROVO, Utah — After going 2-3 in its first tournament of the 2013 season, the BYU softball team will travel to Las Vegas in hopes of improving its record as it plays No. 23/25 Hawai’i, Oregon State, Louisiana Monroe, Cal State Fullerton and Portland State in the Easton Desert Classic on Feb. 14-16.

Cougar Quick Hits

The Cougars played in their last Easton Desert Classic in 2012, where they went 4-1, beating Portland State, Cal State Northridge, Memphis and Indiana, and had one loss against Depaul. In the tournament, BYU outscored its opponents 39-25.

BYU went 2-3 at its first 2013 tournament in St. George at the Red Desert Classic. BYU beat Seattle 10-0 and Idaho State 7-4, but fell to Colorado State 4-1, Nevada 14-6 and No. 6 Tennessee 6-3.

Freshman Gordy Bravo was one player away from earning her first Player of the Week award in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference for week one of the season. In her first tournament as a Cougar, she hit .556 with four RBI, four runs, two doubles and one stolen base.

Head coach Gordon Eakin is in his 11th season with BYU and has a record of 418-178 (.704). He is currently No. 18 on the list of Division I active college softball coaches in win percentage.

Opponent Notes

Hawai’i

The Rainbow Wahine return 13 letterwinners to this year’s roster after losing seven players from the 2012 season, including 2012 Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year Stephanie Ricketts. The team also added eight newcomers to the roster. Hawai’i is led by senior shortstop Jessica Iwata and senior outfielder Kelly Majam. Iwata was selected to the “watch list” for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and is a two-time WAC Player of the Year with a career batting average of .373 and 159 RBIs. Majam is the UH career leader in home runs with 54 and walks with 117. Senior Kaia Parnaby will take up the main role on the mound this year as she looks to improve upon her 16-3 2012 record and 1.47 ERA. BYU has an overall record of 7-2 against Hawai’i.

Oregon State

BYU last played Oregon State in its first game of the 2012 season and was handed a 22-5 loss at the hand of the Beavers. The team was 36-23 in 2012 and was led by Elizabeth Santana, who hit .344 with 49 RBIs and 36 runs scored. The Beavers have five pitchers on their roster and will look to their upperclassmen Marina Demore, Tina Andreana and Amanda Najdek, to step up this year on the mound.

Louisiana Monroe

The Warhawks return just 10 letterwinners from last season in which they were one win away from .500 with a 25-26 record. ULM also finished last year with 105 stolen bases and allowed just 44 steals on 56 attempts, compared to BYU who only stole 59 bases in 2012.The Warhawks won three of their four games last weekend, led by Mackenzie Miller who went 6 for 7 with two triples and three runs scored. Veteran Stephanie Routzon didn’t give up a single run in her two appearances on the mound to earn two wins.

Cal State Fullerton

In their first week of play, the Titans gave up only 10 runs on 17 hits to grab a 2-2 record heading into this weeked. Last year, Fullerton had a record of 20-31. The Titans return 14 letterwinners and six starters to the team this year. The Titans also welcome an impressive nine players to the 2013 roster. The team is led by junior catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama who hit .500 in the team’s first four games alongisde one triple and two RBIs. BYU has an overall record of 2-0 against Fullerton and played last in the Easton Desert Classic in 2010 where the Cougars beat the Titans 10-3.

Portland State

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