BYU softball travels to Seattle this week to play in four games at the Husky Classic on Friday and Saturday.
The Cougars (6-9) will face two ranked teams along with two other matchups. They open the tournament with a doubleheader against Portland State at 9 a.m. PT and No. 11 Alabama at 11:15 a.m. On Saturday, BYU will play Northwestern and No. 1 Washington at 12:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., respectively.
Hosted by Washington, all games will be played at Husky Softball Stadium and streamed online by the Pac-12. Links to live stats, the live stream and radio broadcast for the Washington game will be available on the BYU softball schedule page. The full tournament schedule can be found on the Husky Classic website.
BYU ranks No. 16 nationally in home runs per game with 1.20. Nine Cougars have hit 18 homers in 15 games so far this season, led by Libby Sugg’s four. Alexa Strid, Lexi Tarrow, Caitlyn Alldredge, Briielle Breland, Bridget Fleener and Allie Hancock have each crushed two while Madison Merrell and Ashley Godfrey have one apiece.
The Cougars played two of its Husky Classic opponents at the Seattle Regional in 2014. BYU beat Northwestern, 7-2, in its first game of the postseason before falling 9-0 to Washington and 8-3 to Northwestern.
Junior catcher and team captain Sugg has been named to the 2018 USA Softball College Player of the Year Watch List. She earned NFCA All-Pacific Region First-Team honors and was named to the All-WCC Second Team last season. Sugg led the team in RBIs and home runs with 56 and 13, respectively, while hitting .356.
The Vikings are 2-7 on the season so far, earning wins over Sam Houston State and New Mexico State. BYU leads in the overall series, 7-3, most recently winning 4-3 on March 7, 2014, in the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic. Meadow McWhorter enters her second season at the helm of the Portland State program. She previously coached at Mt. Hood Community College for 14 years, compiling a record of 468-146.
No. 11 Alabama
The Crimson Tide have a 9-2 overall record this season, with their only losses coming to No. 11/12 Baylor and No. 9/7 Florida State. Alabama competed in the Gainesville Super Regional in 2017, where it went 1-2 to Florida. This will be just the second meeting between the teams. The Crimson Tide carries the edge in the overall series, 1-0. In the first meeting, Alabama took home a 6-0 win on February 19, 2009, in the Cathedral City Classic. Head coach Patrick Murphy has earned a record of 987-273 in 19 seasons with the Crimson Tide.
The Wildcats are 7-6 on the season so far, including losses to No. 7 Arizona and No. 11 Tennessee. Northwestern leads the overall series with the Cougars, 2-3. In 2015, BYU won 5-1 at the Wilson DeMarini Desert Classic in Las Vegas. Kate Drohan enters her 17th season as the head coach at Northwestern, compiling a 532-326-1 record.
No. 1 Washington
The Huskies are a perfect 18-0 in 2018, having beat No. 6 Texas A&M in a 4-3 walk-off in nine innings at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic last week. Washington advanced to its 12th Women’s College World Series in 2017, falling to No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 2 Florida. The Huskies lead in the overall series, 7-3. Last year, BYU upset then-ranked No. 13 Washington, 4-2, with a sixth-inning rally at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. Head coach Heather Tarr has been at the helm of the Washington program for 13 seasons while collecting a coaching record of 532-215-1.