BYU softball looks to bounce back this week at the Marucci Desert Classic in Las Vegas on Thursday through Saturday.
The Cougars will play five teams, beginning with Hawai’i on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. PT. Competition continues Friday with matchups against Florida International at 11:15 a.m. and New Mexico at 1:30 p.m. Tournament play concludes Saturday, Feb. 17, with games against Long Beach State at 9 a.m. and Iowa State at 11:15 a.m.
The games against Hawai’i, Long Beach State and Iowa State will be played at Eller Media Stadium on UNLV’s campus. The other two games against FIU and New Mexico will both be played at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park Field in Henderson, Nevada. Links to live stats can be found on the BYU schedule page.
BYU ranks No. 17 nationally in home runs per game and opened the 2018 campaign with eight home runs from seven players at the Kajikawa Classic. Libby Sugg leads the pack with two, while Ashley Godfrey, Caitlyn Alldredge, Lexi Tarrow, Allie Hancock, Madison Merrell and Bridget Fleener have one apiece. Five Cougars hit homers against Oregon State, including three-run and two-run homers from Godfrey and Alldredge. Tarrow also had a three-run dinger against Stanford.
This is the fourth-straight year BYU has participated in the Marucci Desert Classic, formerly the Demarini Deseret Classic. UNLV hosts the tournament. Last year, the Cougars went 3-0 before the final two games were canceled. BYU went 4-1 in both 2016 and 2015. The only team on all four schedules is Hawai’i, which the Cougars have defeated each of the past three years.
Including the 2017 West Coast Conference title, BYU has won four-straight WCC championships. Additionally, it was the Cougars’ ninth-consecutive conference title, spanning four different conferences. The automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA tournament was BYU’s 13th straight and 14th overall.
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 Rainbow Wahine finished the 2017 season with a 29-23 record, 8-13 in Big West play. BYU leads in the overall series, 12-2, most recently winning 7-5 on February 8, 2017, in the same tournament last year. Head coach Bob Coolen …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News