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BYU softball set for NCAA Tournament

Published May 14, 2012 11:59 pm

Streaking Wolverines • Utah Valley puts 32-game win streak on line against Utah.
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The low point in the BYU women's softball season came April 9.

Whether it was the come down after beating No. 11 Hawaii, at lowly Idaho State, a program that finished its season with 12 victories, the Cougars lost in Pocatello, 7-4.

Since then, BYU has lost once, including the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, including another victory against the Rainbow Wahine. In winning 19 of 20, the Cougars (43-13) are in the NCAA Softball Championship for the eighth straight season.

The Cougars play Mississippi State (33-22) in the double-elimination Eugene Regional that begins Thursday through Saturday at Howe Field in Eugene, Ore. A game time has yet to be determined for the opener.

The Ducks open against Portland State (27-23).

"Every regional is a tough regional and this is no exception," BYU coach Gordon Eakin said. "But we're confident that if we continue to play BYU softball that we've got a chance to win."

Eakin has every reason to be confident, despite landing in a region that includes host and 11th-seed Oregon (39-15), one of eight Pac-12 teams invited to the tournament, which concludes with the Women's College World Series between May 31-June 6 in Oklahoma City, Okla., at ASA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.

BYU have already beaten Oregon and Portland State this year in two separate tournaments in February.

However, historically, the Cougars are 0-2 against Mississippi State, one of an NCAA-best nine selections from the Southeastern Conference.

Utah Valley streak on line against Utah

The milestones keep coming for the streaking Utah Valley baseball team.

Sunday, the No. 27-ranked Wolverines used a six-run eighth inning to increase its nation's best winning streak to 32 games with an 11-2 victory at NYIT.

With five games remaining in its regular season, UVU (39-11) hosts Utah (13-35) at 6 p.m. at Brent Brown Ballpark. The Utes may be the Wolverines' final real hurdle en route to what the school hopes will be an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. The Great West Conference, which UVU won for the third straight season with consecutive win No. 29, does not have an automatic bid to the post season.

When UVU and Utah hooked up in early April, Jeremy Gendlek pitched six shutout innings and Goose Kallunki hit a home run at Spring Mobile Ballpark to give the Wolverines its 11th consecutive victory.

The Wolverines, undefeated in conference, are at home their final five games of the regular season before hosting the 2012 Great West Conference Tournament, which starts May 22.






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