Softball team playing in final preseason tourney

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    By Evelyn Burns

    The BYU softball team heads to Las Cruces, N. M. Thursday, March 20, to compete in its last tournament before conference play.

    The Cougars are hoping for five easy wins in the New Mexico Tournament to improve their 15-7 record. The team will face off for the first time this year against New Mexico State, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. They will also play the University of Texas at San Antonio for the third time this year and New Mexico, a team they normally face in conference play.

    Each of the teams that the Cougars will play has a losing record this season.

    “I am fearful going into this tournament with the attitude that the team will win these five games easily,” head coach Gordon Eakin said. “We want to stay focused on one game, one pitch and one inning at a time.”

    The Cougars will be looking to the Mountain West Player of the Week, senior Brooke Cadiente, to lead the team to victory. Cadiente went 7-7 in her last three games against Utah State, and leads the team with 22 RBIs and .828 slugging percentage.

    All-American Oli Keohohou leads the team in with a .373 batting average, 22 runs and seven home runs.

    “All of our players are healthy and ready to play,” Eakin said. “We seem to still increase our team chemistry.”

    The team starts against New Mexico State today at 4 p.m. The Aggies are 6-30 so far this season. A notable accomplishment for the team came when it won its first series of the season against Iona.

    The key player for the Aggies is senior catcher Christine Stephens. She has 25 career home runs and 91 career RBIs.

    The Cougars play UConn at noon and UMKC at 4 p.m. on Friday.

    The UConn Huskies have a 3-10-1 record this season, tying New Mexico this past weekend because of unplayable weather conditions at the Texas A&M Islander Bash.

    The UMKC Kangaroos have a 3-12 record, but did win against nationally-ranked Oregon State.

    On Saturday, BYU matches up against New Mexico at 8 a.m. and Texas – San Antonio at noon.

    New Mexico is a part of the MWC and it is very rare to meet a conference competitor in pre-conference tournaments. The Lobos have a 10-19-1 record this season.

    The Lobos boast a few players that lead their team this season. New Mexico will look to freshman shortstop Ashley VanBoxmeer, who has a .360 batting average, and former MWC Pitcher of the Week Amy Dumas.

    The Texas – San Antonio Roadrunners have a 9-17 record this season and are lead by sophomore Krystal Gibson, who is batting .400, and freshman Amanda Horton, who picked up her first collegiate win in a seven-inning shutout against S.F. Austin.

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