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Cougars by three over Lions at half, 43-40

Jan 28, 2017 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 8:05 pm | Updated: January 28, 2017 8:08 pm | Permalink

BYU took a 5-0 lead to start the game and made its first seven field goal attempts. The Cougars and Lions traded buckets en route to a 13-13 tie with 16:27 on the clock before BYU built a second five-point lead, 21-16, midway through the first half. 

A 3-pointer from Nick Emery followed by an Eric Mika dunk extended the Cougars’ lead to eight points, 26-18, with 10:25 left in the half. A pair of free throws from freshman Steven Beo made it a 10-point game, 30-20, but LMU fought back to close the gap. The Lions tied the game 34-34 with five minutes left in the half. 

Trips to the charity stripe from Mika and TJ Haws and Elijah Bryant’s jumper put BYU up, 39-34, with three and a half minutes on the clock. A layup from LMU with 50 seconds left gave the Lions a one-point advantage, 40-39, but the Cougars scored four unanswered points to lead 43-40 at halftime.

Mika led the Cougars with 11 points, followed by Emery’s 10 and Haws’ seven. BYU shot 52 percent from the field and out-rebounded LMU 18 to 16. 

Thompson, Sugg recognized in Fastpitch News preseason lists

Jan 27, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 10:37 am | Updated: January 27, 2017 11:00 am | Permalink

Ashley Thompson and Libby Sugg were both recognized on a few 2017 preseason articles by Fastpitch News.

Senior first baseman Thompson was named to the FPN 2017 Preseason Top 50 NCAA Softball Hitters list, coming in at No. 36.

The ranking was derived from numerous statistics to formulate a total score, with strength of schedule also taken into account.

Thompson had a strong season at the plate in 2016. She led the team in batting average (.400), slugging percentage (.733), on-base percentage (.490), hits (66), runs (44) and doubles (12). Her 49 RBI and 13 home runs were second on the team. During the season, she reached a 30-game reached-base streak, the second longest in BYU history.

At the top of the rankings is senior Kasey Cooper from Auburn, a team BYU plays to cap off its first tournament in Puerto Vallarta. For the complete list, check out the release.

In addition to Thompson’s recognition, Sugg was listed as one of FPN’s 10 NCAA sophomores to watch in 2017.

The catcher from Tennessee led the Cougars in RBI (58) and home runs (18). Throughout the season, Sugg was in the top 25 in the NCAA for home runs and home runs per game. She was second on the team in slugging percentage (.724) and on-base percentage (.446).

BYU will face a couple other sophomores on the list, including Washington’s Taran Alevlo and Texas A&M’s Samantha Show. See the complete list here.

Getting to Know: Jill van Mierlo and athletic trainer Phillip Hartog

Jan 25, 2017 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 1:54 pm | Updated: January 25, 2017 2:45 pm | Permalink

Jill van Mierlojunior

What is the biggest disaster you have ever averted?
Crashing my car driving through Parley’s Canyon.

If you could have a walk-up song, what would it be?
“Me Too” by Megan Trainor.

What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
Probably songs from “Mulan."

What is your favorite/the most interesting class you’ve taken at BYU?
Cognitive Development.

Who is your celebrity lookalike?
Shawn Johnson.

What are you secretly good at?

Phillip Hartog, athletic trainer

What is your favorite movie?
What Disney’s “The Kid” is one of my favorites. I think it would be better delineate which genre of move as a favorite. For example:

   -- Halloween - “Hocus Pocus”

   -- Christmas - “Elf” and “The Grinch” 

   -- Animated - “Hercules,” “Mulan” and “Madagascar 2”

   -- Classic - “The Sound of Music”

Who is your celebrity look alike?
I don’t think I look like anyone famous, but on my mission I would get a young Mel Gibson a lot.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
Dried caterpillars.

What are you secretly good at?

What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
New Kids on the Block album. Oh, and that free U2 album everyone downloaded and doesn’t like…

What is your favorite place you have visited? 
New York City.

What is your favorite thing about working with BYU gymnastics?
The list is long, but the top would be the athletes and coaching staff. 

Now Batting: Kerisa Viramontes

Jan 25, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 1:32 pm | Updated: January 25, 2017 1:54 pm | Permalink

Each Wednesday until the season opener on Feb. 9, one of five new players on this year's softball roster will be featured on the blog. Check back every Wednesday to meet the newcomers.

Kerisa Viramontes
Freshman pitcher

Why did you choose to come to BYU?
I chose to come to BYU because of the softball program and the academics. I knew that graduating from here would benefit me in the future. The vibe here and the people here are great. The college town atmosphere is great.

Why did you start playing softball?
When I was younger, I would always go to my cousin’s games. My mom played softball and was also a pitcher. So between my cousin and my mom, they helped me decide that softball is what I want to do.

What is your favorite softball memory?
In my freshman year in high school we went to the CIF semifinals. It was the most intense game I’ve ever played. It went to 10 innings and it went back and forth. Finally in the 10th inning, we scored and we went on to the championship. It was so intense. It didn’t feel real when we won.

What is your favorite sport besides softball?
Football. One hundred percent football. I love football. My brother plays football, so ever since I was little I have loved it. If I could play it, I probably would have. The adrenaline and the atmosphere and the people cheering is amazing. My favorite college teams are BYU and Cal, because my brother goes to Cal. In the pros, I love the 49ers.

Who do you look up to?
I look up to my parents because without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. They have been there through everything, pushing me to always be the best. I owe everything to them. And God. I pray before every game.

Who do you look up to in sports?
Stacey Nelson, the pitcher from Florida. Ever since I was younger I have always wanted to be like her. Actually, when I went to pitching lessons one time, she was there because my pitching coach taught her. Stacey was giving lessons and I was freaking out that I met her and she worked with me. That was really fun. Also, McKenna Bull.

What is the most embarrassing song on your phone?
Probably Hannah Montana, “The Best of Both Worlds”. I’m always going to love Hannah Montana. She is the best.

What do you want to do after you graduate?
I want to go to grad school and be a vet. I’ve always wanted to become a vet, so I will try to do that.

Rose makes sandwiches for Coaches vs. Cancer

Jan 24, 2017 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 1:37 pm | Permalink

BYU basketball coach Dave Rose teamed up with UVU coach and former Cougar assistant Mark Pope to make sandwiches at Subway in Orem as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising campaign that began on Jan. 16 and will run through Feb. 11. Read more about the event at

See what Rose had to say about his own fight with cancer (from the Herald article):

“I feel a sense of great gratitude for the people who were ready for me when I was diagnosed with cancer and that gave me a fighting chance. Seven years later I’m still around. Hopefully, we can continue to make progress so that everyone who gets in a difficult situation will have a positive outcome. Hopefully, we can eradicate this disease from the planet but until then I want to give other people a fighting chance”

Cougars participate in "Cougar Strong" at local elementary school

Jan 24, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 1:10 pm | Updated: January 24, 2017 1:26 pm | Permalink

Sophomore Emilee Erickson and student manager Reyna Ae participated in a “Cougar Strong” program through BYU at Manila Elementary School on Monday.

“Cougar Strong” is a program that teaches young children about living happy, healthy, productive lifestyles and inviting them to commit to be Cougar Strong for life. To learn more about the program, click here.

Erickson and Ae talked to the students about how to succeed in those three aspects of their lives and played a few games. They touched on how to by physically strong, mentally strong and socially strong.

BYU gymnastics shines outside the gym

Jan 23, 2017 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 10:23 am | Updated: January 23, 2017 10:24 am | Permalink

Now Batting: Brooke Vander Heide

Jan 18, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 2:23 pm | Updated: January 18, 2017 2:42 pm | Permalink

Each Wednesday until the season opener on Feb. 9, one of five new players on this year's softball roster will be featured on the blog. Check back every Wednesday to meet the newcomers.

Brooke Vander Heide
Freshman outfielder

Why did you come to BYU?
Both of my parents went to BYU, my sister is here, and it is a great environment. It is kind of like a family tradition.

When did you start playing softball?
When I was 6. All of my sisters played and my mom played. I wanted to be like them.

Who do you look up to?
I look up to my parents. They didn’t play in a super high level in sports, but they were always very into sports. They are very inspiring and have been a huge support for me and my siblings.

What is your favorite sport besides softball?

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The bottom of the ocean. No one has ever been there.

What is your favorite softball memory?
Probably playing high school ball with my sister. We overlapped for two years.

What is something few people know about you?
I taught myself how to ride a unicycle.

What is your dream job?
A mom.

What is your favorite thing about BYU (aside from softball)?
The great people and the environment.

Getting to Know: Lauren Love

Jan 18, 2017 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 11:30 am | Updated: January 18, 2017 1:01 pm | Permalink

Lauren Lovefreshman

What is your favorite movie?

“The Blindside.”

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

Seattle, Washington.

If you could have a walk-up song, what would it be?

“Run the World” by Beyonce.

What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

“Burnin’ Up” by the Jonas Brothers.

What are you secretly good at?

Taking naps.

What is your favorite saying?

“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right."

January Baseball Blog

Jan 17, 2017 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 4:03 pm | Updated: February 1, 2017 2:21 pm | Permalink

BUSY JANUARY: Starting with school work, practice and the fourth annual First Pitch Dinner on Jan. 27 featuring Dale Murphy, the Cougars are readying for the 2017 season.

LITTLEWOOD INDUCTION: Congratulations are in order for Coach Mike Littlewood who is one of five persons to be inducted on Jan. 28 into the Dixie State Athletic Hall of Fame.

COUGARS IN ST. GEORGE: BYU’s baseball team is working out this month at the BYU Indoor Practice Facility. Full team practices start Jan. 28. The Cougars travel to St. George on Feb. 3-4 and 10-11 to get practice in outdoor conditions.

READY FOR SPECIAL YEAR: All the Cougars are eligible and posted a team GPA of 3.0 last semester, according to Coach Littlewood. “Every single inning we can score,” Littlewood told Cougar Clubbers at their January luncheon in Provo. “If pitching goes the right way, we could have a special year. We have 10 proven guys who can pitch.

SHOW UP: That’s the theme for this year’s BYU baseball team, some of whom have a chance to eventually make it to “The Show.” BYU basketball coach Dave Rose, himself a baseball aficionado whose bucket list includes going to every Major League Park (he has 20 to his credit so far), told Cougar Clubbers after Littlewood preceded him at this month’s luncheon that show up is what he teaches his cagers, to “be counted on, do what you say you’re going to do.”

NEW ROYAL TOPS: BYU baseball will have a new look with its Royal-colored uniform top emblazoned with the word COUGARS across the front and matching cap with what is known as the “Vintage BYU logo,” the Cougar wearing a sailor hat. This Royal look will be worn mainly at home games and is what the team wore at this month's green screen shots for BYUtv.

CHAUNCEY AT HARPER WEDDING: Tanner Chauncey, a Las Vegas boyhood friend of Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, attended last month’s wedding of Harper to former BYU soccer player Kayla Varner in San Diego. After the wedding in the San Diego Temple, the Chaunceys were at the table during the reception with Stephen Strasburg. Other MLB players at the reception included Trea Turner, Tyler Clippard, Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant.

WEDDED BLISS: Pitcher Brady Corless got married to Ashlee Nyborg earlier this month. Other married players on the team include: Keaton Cenatiempo, Tanner Chauncey, Brock Hale, Mason Marshall, Kendall MotesRhett Parkinson, Hayden Rogers, Connor Williams and Jordan Wood.

COACHES CONVENE: Assistant coaches Trent Pratt, Brent Haring and director of baseball operations Tuckett Slade attended the American Association of Baseball Coaches Convention in Anaheim, California the beginning of January.

HAYDEN NIELSEN LONGEVITY: Joining the BYU coaching staff as a graduate assistant is former BYU shortstop Hayden Nielsen. Nielsen started the past 213 games as the Cougar shortstop.

CARRIBEAN PART DEUX: Keaton Kringlen returned to the Caribbean for the second time in as many months at the end of 2016. Kringlen was part of the team’s Thanksgiving break tour to Curacao. During the Christmas holidays, the sophomore slugger traveled to Puerto Rico with the family of his girlfriend Makenna Santiago, who just finished her eligibility with BYU’s women’s volleyball team.

THE VULCAN: Coach Littlewood spoke at January’s Cougar Club luncheon in Provo and showed the Star Trek Vulcan sign with his hand to demonstrate how JC transfer left-handed pitcher Aaron Cross throws his “filthy Vulcan change up.”