BYU’s softball team, which has now built up a comfortable string of five straight victories, will hold its final preseason Blue/White scrimmage today at 1:30 at Miller Field.
Head coach Gordon Eakin presented his players with a day off for all of their hard work. The team was scheduled for a Blue/White scrimmage on Monday, but Eakin felt they deserved the break.
“So we [practiced yesterday], we’ll scrimmage [today], and our focus will be to compete better,” Eakin said. “We wait until our backs are against the wall to compete or wait until the game’s close to compete. I want them to compete the entire game, every pitch. So we’ll work on that a little bit, continue to try to play clean softball, and compete a little bit better — fight harder.”
The team and coaches value the scrimmages for the opportunities to create game situations while rotating players through different positions. Assistant coach Vaughn Alvey said the coaches like to give everyone a chance to see what they can do with different scores on the board, and that’s invaluable.
Tiffany Messerschmidt, an outfielding senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., said she is happy for the success the team has had thus far, but knows it will be tougher once the season officially begins.
“The first part of this year so far, we’ve been focusing on defense,” Messerschmidt said. “That was our main thing — no one will score on us. And I feel like now that we’ve been closer to that goal, we’ll start hitting more and we’ll start producing more runs. This will win us these [preseason] games, but further down the road, we’re going to need to put more runs on the board, so that’s definitely a goal.”
After last Saturday’s pair of games, Messerschmidt said the team wasn’t necessarily in the game mentally.
“Once we came together as a team and got excited and remembered our passion for the game, that’s when our hits started to come,” Messerschmidt said. “That’s when we started rallies. When our dugout was up, our bats were up. I think as long as you’re in the game mentally, the hits will come.”
The team will also prepare for this weekend, as well as next year’s season, by continuing to work on all parts of the game, both defensively and offensively, and will work to have the competitive mindset throughout the entire game.