PROVO — The Brigham Young University softball team went 4-1 to close out its regular season last week — securing them second place in the Mountain West Conference and earning them an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.

The Cougars (42-18) will play North Carolina on Thursday in the Chapel Hill Regional. This year's trip to the regional marks BYU's fourth-straight tournament appearance.

"It has become an expectation of ours to make the tournament every year," said head coach Gordon Eakin. "We believe we have solid enough kids to retool every year and get back. We thought all year we would make it, and it wasn't a surprise when it was announced this weekend. But this year it was a bonus because we were so young."

The Cougars will open the regional with North Carolina (50-10-1). The other teams participating in the region are Campbell (41-23) and Georgia (43-22).

The Cougars are now working to get their travel arranged quickly.

"It's a little surprising that they are sending us across the country to play, but we are excited to go and play those teams we have never faced and also to be somewhere we have not played before," said Eakin.

The regional requires two losses to be eliminated, with the winner of each regional advancing to a super regional. Coach Eakin knows that the competition is stiff, but they still have some goals they have not accomplished this season. "We are getting a little tired of just making it to the tournament and not winning it," he said.

MEN'S SOCCER: The BYU men's soccer club is currently in Fiji as part of tits annual international trip. The first game was on May 7 against the Ba FC, which is Fiji's most successful soccer team. The Cougars fought hard but came up just short as they lost 1-0.

Their second game was just one day later against Fiji's Under-20 Olympic team's reserves. The Cougars came away with a 2-0 win in that contest. Later that evening, the team enjoyed a feast with the mayor of Ba, and several top officials in the Fijian government and Fiji Soccer attended the dinner.

WOMEN'S GOLF: The No. 27 BYU women's golf team finished its season at the 2008 NCAA West Regional in 17th place at 43-over-par as a team. BYU senior Juli Erekson led all Cougars finishing in 42nd place. Junior Natalia Jimenez finished the tournament tied for 56th place with teammate Daphne Vines. The 2008 NCAA West Regional was held at the Lincoln Hills Golf Club, with tournament tees at 6,338 yards. The West Regional consisted of 21 Division-I schools including No. 2 Southern California, No. 4 Arizona State and No. 12 Arizona.

BASEBALL: The Cougars had a rough start last week — losing their first four games of the week to Utah Valley, Washington State and San Diego State. But home runs from Steve Parker and Sean McNaughton helped the Cougars to a 10-4 victory over the Aztecs on Friday. McNaughton went 3-for-4 on the night and currently has a .362 batting average.

On Saturday the Cougars dropped the finale of the series with San Diego State, 9-5, falling to 20-33 (8-13 MWC).


Men's soccer: vs. Cascade Surge on Friday at 7:30 p.m.; vs. Spokane Spiders on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Lacrosse: vs. Boston College, in Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday.

Softball: at North Carolina on Thursday.

Track & field: at MWC Championships, in Fort Worth, Texas, Wednesday through Saturday.

Baseball: at Utah, on Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m., and on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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