BYU softball: Cougars play in home opener and conference opener this week
PROVO, Utah — After a week off, the BYU softball team will play in its home opener on Tuesday against Marist College at 6 p.m. MDT at Gail Miller Field. The Cougars then will travel to San Diego for their conference opener in a doubleheader at USD Softball Complex on Friday at 4 p.m. and 6 PDT, and Saturday at noon and 2 p.m.
BYU quick hits
BYU went 4-0 in its home and conference opener last season, defeating Idaho State, 5-2, and New Mexico State, 3-2, 9-1 (5) and 6-3.
This will be just the second time that BYU has faced Marist in its history, and this will also be the Red Foxes' first visit to Gail Miller Field.
BYU started last home season with an 8-0 record. Overall the Cougars were 17-1 at home, with the lone loss coming against No. 20 Hawai’i.
BYU has an overall record of 5-3 against San Diego and is 3-2 against San Diego at the Toreros' home field. San Diego was picked to finish third in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference pre-season poll.
The Red Foxes were 6-2 heading into last weekend’s San Diego Classic II. Their four-game winning streak was cut short after going 0-5 at the Classic to fall to 6-7 on the season. In only its second match-up against BYU, Marist will travel to Provo for the first time on Tuesday and will complete its trip to Utah with a game against PCSC-rival UVU on Wednesday.
The Red Foxes are led by newcomer Nicole Cheek who is hitting a .395 clip alongside a team-leading 17 hits, 29 total bases and three home runs. Danielle Koltz provides power in the lineup, hitting .333 with 10 runs scored and a team-high 14 RBIs. With nine less games under its belt than BYU, Marist has garnered 10 home runs on the season to BYU’s eight. Marist has four pitchers who have all earned a win this season but are led by senior Emily Osterhaus who has an ERA of 1.28 with a record of 2-3 on the season. The pitching staff as a whole has held its opponents to just 19 (1.46 per game) extra-base hits to BYU’s staff, who has given up 65 (2.71 per game) extra-base hits so far this season. Defensively, the team has turned eight double plays and is ranked first in the NCAA with double plays per game as of March 11.
San Diego took a record of 10-12 into the San Diego Classic II last weekend and extended its winning streak to six games in the tournament to improve to 15-12. The Toreros faced Marist in their second game of the tournament and beat the Red Foxes 3-2 in eight innings before ending the weekend with two walk-off wins to close out the Classic.
Senior outfielder Lauren Tomey leads the way offensively for the Toreros. The 2012 First Team All-PCSC member is hitting a .415 clip alongside 34 hits and 42 total bases. The team only has three home runs on the season, but makes up for it in doubles with 24. USD has also out-hit its opponents 198-158 this season and outscored its opponents 81-75. Juniors Cassidy Coleman and Jenny Lahitte have seen a majority of the time on the mound this year. Lahitte has a record of 6-7 with an ERA of 1.69, while Coleman takes an 8-5 record and an ERA of 2.28 into the team’s conference opener against BYU on Friday. The two pitchers combine for 203 strikeouts and have only given up a total of seven home runs. BYU hasn’t played USD since 2010, when the Cougars defeated the Toreros 11-3 in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. The Cougars have an overall record of 5-3 against the Toreros and are 3-2 at their home stadium.
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