Coming off a sweep of Southern Utah, BYU softball travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to take on No. 10 LSU, No. 13 Baylor and North Dakota State at the LSU Round Robin from Thursday through Saturday.
The Cougars (15-13) open the tournament against host LSU (23-4) at 6 p.m. CDT. On Friday, BYU plays a doubleheader against North Dakota State (17-7) at 1:30 p.m. and LSU at 4 p.m. Tournament play concludes for the Cougars with a matchup against Baylor (17-4) at 10 a.m.
Both LSU games will be televised on SEC Network Plus, which can be streamed on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. All games will be played at Tiger Park, and links to live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page. The full tournament schedule can be found on the LSU Round Robin website.
BYU enters the LSU Round Robin having played LSU, Baylor and North Dakota State just a handful of times. The Cougars lost to both the Tigers and Lady Bears in the only previous meeting and have split the series, 2-2, with the Bison.
The Cougars are currently on a six-game win streak during the past two weeks, having outscored opponents, 36-9. The team has totaled 36 runs, 48 hits, 32 RBIs and eight home runs while batting .304 during that span.
BYU ranks No. 12 nationally and No. 1 in the WCC in home runs per game with 1.19. Ten Cougars have hit 32 homers in 27 games so far this season, led by Rylee Jensen’s six. Libby Sugg follows with five, while Caitlyn Alldredge and Briielle Breland both have four. Lexi Tarrow, Alexa Strid and Bridget Fleener have three apiece. Allie Hancock has two, while Madison Merrell and Ashley Godfrey have also hit dingers.
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 in 2017.
No. 10 LSU (23-4)
The Tigers are 23-4 on the season so far, including 3-2 against SEC teams. They most recently went 0-2 at Kentucky. LSU advanced to the Women’s College World Series in 2017 before falling to No. 2 Florida and No. 3 Oregon. The Tigers won the only previous meeting between the schools, 10-6, on February 21, 2013, at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, California. LSU was ranked No. 11 nationally at the time. Head coach Beth Torina is in her seventh season with the Tigers and has compiled a record of 272-119 in six seasons at LSU.
North Dakota State (17-7)
The Bison have a 17-7 overall record in 2018, having gone 5-0 last week at the LMU Tournament with wins over LMU, Colgate, Monmouth and Fairfield. In 2017, NDSU advanced to the Norman Regional before falling to No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 23 Tulsa. The Cougars and Bison have split the series, 2-2, with the then-ranked No. 24 NDSU most recently winning 7-0 to end BYU’s 2015 season at the Eugene Regional. Darren Mueller enters his 17th year at the helm of the North Dakota State program with a record of 571-315 in 16 seasons.
No. 13 Baylor (17-4)
The Lady Bears are 17-4 this season with their only losses to No. 23/25 Michigan and No. 2 Florida, as well as Iowa and Texas State. This will be the second meeting between BYU and Baylor. The Lady Bears hold the advantage in the overall series, 1-0. Then-ranked No. 15 Baylor came away with a 4-1 victory on March 13, 2015, at the San Diego Classic II. The Lady Bears advanced to the WCWS in 2017, where they fell to No. 3 Oregon and No. 6 Oregon. Head coach Glenn Moore is in his 18th season at Baylor after compiling a record of 700-323 in 17 seasons.