By Joseph Evans
The young BYU women”s softball team, playing without All-American Oli Keohohou, played well in a weekend round robin at the University of Utah in the first week of fall exhibition play.
On Friday Sept. 27, the Cougars came out on top in two close five-inning games against Southern Utah 2-1, and Utah State 3-2. The games were on a 90-minute time limit due to time constraints.
In the first game, sophomore pitcher Niki Andersen pitched four shut out innings.
Senior transfer Mandy Flint relieved Andersen in the fifth against her former team and gave up one run to the Thunderbirds.
Senior outfielder Brooke Cadiente had an RBI single in the fifth to bring in sophomore catcher Lauren Watson.
In the second game, freshman outfielder Ianeta Lei had a two-run RBI single in the first inning as the Cougars went on to beat Utah State 3-2. Watson went 2-2 with a double.
Tied 2-2 going into the third inning, sophomore infielder Kay Barnes led off the third inning with a walk. Junior outfielder Belinda Osborne, a transfer from UVSC, preceded to steal second and third base and scored off a bad throw by the Aggies.
Senior pitcher Cynthia Fallowfield started for the Cougars and gave up one run in two innings of play.
On Saturday Sept. 28, the Cougars lost to Utah, the defending MWC Conference champion, 3-2 in the top of the fifth with a runner in scoring position as time expired. With only one senior in the line-up, the Utes scored three runs in the first inning.
BYU tried to claw back as freshman Ashlyn Russell blasted a two-run home run to bring in teammate Lei.
Other notables was freshman pitcher Brooke Boyce relieving Fallowfield in the second inning with bases loaded and came away without allowing any runs.
“I was happy with the way our young team played in three tight situation games,” said first-season head coach Gordon Eakin. “To win two our of three one-run games is good for our new players.”