PROVO, Utah — The BYU softball team travels to Florida this weekend to play Maine in a double header on Thursday at 1 p.m. EST and 3, and then LIU Brooklyn and Providence College on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively, in its final preseason tournament at the USF Under Armour Showcase. Games will be played at the USF Softball Stadium and the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
BYU quick hits
BYU played in its last USF Under Armour Showcase in 2009 where it defeated Indiana 6-0 and Ball State 5-4 but lost to Hofstra 4-0 and No. 23 Florida Gulf Coast 5-4.
This will be BYU’s last preseason tournament before returning to Provo for its home opener on March 19 against Marist College.
Junior pitcher Tori Almond went 2-0 in the San Diego Classic, pitching 9.2 innings and giving up only five hits and two earned runs. She also struck out 10 and held opponents to a .152 average. Almond was named PCSC Pitcher of the Week.
Senior shortstop JC Clayton continued her hitting streak throughout the San Diego Classic and still has a hit in every game of the season but one. She is currently sitting at a 19-game hitting streak. Clayton was also named PCSC Player of the Week for the second-straight week.
Due to injuries within the BYU pitching staff, former high school pitchers Katie Manuma and Carly Duckworth will each see some time on the mound this season. Both pitchers made their first appearances of the season in the San Diego Classic. Manuma pitched 3.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits. Duckworth pitched one inning and held opponents to zero earned runs on two hits.
Grand ole’ slam
Junior infielder Katie Manuma hit her first career grand slam against UC Santa Barbara at the Mary Nutter Classic. Down 10-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Cougars rallied to score three runs and bring up Manuma with the bases loaded. Manuma took advantage with a bomb that tied up the game at 10-10 and sent the game into extra-innings. BYU wasn’t able to keep the momentum in the eight and surrendered two runs to the Gauchos for the 12-10 loss. This was BYU’s first grand slam of the season and Manuma’s third home run.
Manuma is currently hitting .311 with 11 runs scored, 20 RBIs and 32 total bases. Manuma has hit a home run in every tournament of the season so far, leading the team and conference with four.
JC Clayton is currently tied for the third longest hitting-streak in BYU history. She is only two games away from tying the record set by former BYU player and current assistant coach, Ianeta Le’i. Clayton is also tied for the second longest hitting-streak in the Pacific Coast Conference and is two games away from tying the record.
Ianeta Le’i — 21 (2006)
Oli Keohohou — 20 (2003)
Oli Keohohou —19 (2001)
JC Clayton —19 (2013)
JC Clayton— 16 (2012)
Amanda Vance-Kellum —16 (2008)
JC Clayton — 15 (2010)
Ianeta Le’i — 14 (2003)
Delaney Willard — 13 (2012)
Jodi Norton — 13 (2007)
Kristin Delahoussaye — 12 (2010)
Paige Paramore — 12 (2010)
After kicking the season off with a 9-1 victory, the Black Bears have lost nine-straight and are currently 1-9 on the season. The team scored less than two runs in six of its 10 games. Maine returns 12 letterwinners from last year’s 17-30 squad and welcomes five newcomers to its roster. Sophomore infielder Kristen Ksolosky heads up the Bear’s offense, hitting .355 with three runs scored. Junior catcher Jean Stevens brings power to the lineup with two doubles, two home runs and a team-leading nine RBIs. Maine has four pitchers on its roster but is led by senior Beth Spoehr who is 1-3 on the season. She also has an ERA of 2.26 alongside 21.2 innings pitched and only seven earned runs given up. The Black Bears have only played the Cougars once and lost the matchup 9-1 in 2010.
The Blackbirds head to their fifth preseason tournament in the USF Under Armour Showcase and will face two PCSC teams in BYU and Loyola Marymount. BYU has an all-time record of 2-0 against LIU and defeated LIU last year 11-4 in the Cathedral City Classic. LIU sits at 2-17 this season. One of its two wins came against No. 14 Michigan, defeating it 2-1 in the FAU Kickoff Classic. Since that win, the Blackbirds have lost 10-straight and have been outscored by their opponents 122-28. The team has three players who are hitting over .300 in Lauren Morizi, Emily Kakuska and Whitney West. Morizi, who hits .385, has six runs scored, six RBIs and a team-high five doubles. Righthander Cassie Vondrak has both wins for the Blackhawks and has pitched 72.2 innings of the total 112.2 on the season. She has given up 60 earned runs while striking out 29.
This will be the Friars third tournament of the season. They started their 2013 campaign with a big 13-7 win against Northern Illinois and won close games against Connecticut and Quinnipiac to grab a 3-7 record. Stephanie Kiesel and Sarah Kitterman both lead the team with a .379 average. Kitterman has three doubles, one triple, two home runs and eight RBIs for the Friars. Kiarra Baldassari has provided speed for the team with six of the team’s seven stolen bases and 10 of the team’s 35 runs scored. Corinne Clauss, Kiara Amos and Emily O’Keefe have split time on the mound this season, but Amos has pitched a majority of the innings. She has given up 22 earned runs on 48 hits and also leads the pitching staff with 17 strikeouts. BYU hasn’t played Providence since 2009 where the Cougars defeated the Friars 5-2.
Check for updates throughout the tournament on the BYU softball Facebook page.
Jamie Morris is the softball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.