The BYU softball team will play in the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. this weekend. The Cougars will play No. 10 LSU, Oklahoma State, UNLV, Northwestern and UC Santa Barbara at the Big League Dreams Complex.
“I expect us to do a lot better this weekend,” Lacey Millett said. “I don’t think we have just one team to worry about. At this level, any team can be beaten, but we have to take it to them, no matter what.”
The tournament will kick off Thursday at 10 a.m. PST against No. 10 LSU. The Tigers are brand new competition for the Cougars. The Tigers’ senior pitcher Rachel Fico is on fire this season with 51 strikeouts, six wins and has a 0.38 ERA in only 11 games.
Later that day, the Cougars will play Oklahoma State who has a 5-4 record on the season. Last year the Cougars lost to No. 21 Oklahoma State.
“Whenever we go to this tournament there is always good competition,” Hannah Howell said. “Teams like Oklahoma State have always given us good games and made us work hard.”
On Friday, the softball team will play just one game against UNLV. The two have not seen each other since 2011 when the Cougars laid down 16 runs against the Rebels. UNLV is .500 this season with a loss to Utah just last week.
On the last day of the tournament, the Cougars will play Northwestern and UC Santa Barbara before heading back to Provo.
Northwestern warmed up with games against high-ranked teams including No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 13 Georgia and No. 15 Arizona. The Wildcats lost all five of their games in their first tournament, but have since picked up a few wins.
The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos had a successful start this season with an 8-2 record losing only to Missouri (twice). Last year BYU beat the Gauchos 12-4 by taking advantage of their errors and jumping ahead early in the game.
The full schedule with game-times can be found online at the BYU softball website.