The St. George heat didn’t slow down BYU softball during a doubleheader against Dixie State on Saturday.
The Cougars won the first game 9-2 and the second game 12-5. The two games wrapped up a perfect fall preseason for the Cougars.
BYU coach Gordon Eakin said he was pleased with the team’s performance and that he managed to play every single player on the roster — a feat that shows the goal of preseasons in general: to grow as a team in the skill category, not the win category.
“It came alive today like we’ve been waiting for it to,” Eakin said. “The team that I expect us to be showed up today.”
Significant plays included the talents of sophomore Katie Manuma, who hit a grand slam, and senior Delaney Willard, who hit a home run and a double. Pitching incorporated Tori Almond, Hannah Howell and Caroline Umphlett, whose efforts were dubbed “successful” by Eakin.
Senior Jessica Dugas also maintained a positive attitude about the two games.
“These kids are so dang coach-able, it’s not funny,” Alvey said. “When you see a kid who wants to learn everything, who’s willing to try things … those are the thrills. They give you a chance to coach them and, to me, that’s what’s made these kids so much better this year — that they’re coming along because they’re not afraid to try something different.”
Eakin said the biggest improvement over the course of the preseason was the team’s competitive nature.
“I think it was a really successful preseason,” Dugas said. “We identified things that we can work on while getting ready for the season. I think now we’re starting to get in our groove and starting to understand the offense. … We’re heading in the right direction.”
Alvey echoed Dugas’ thoughts and said the team has identified where its weak spots are.
“That’s a great fall,” Alvey said. “If we know where our weaknesses are, we can fight them.”
The softball team will take time off until January, while the players work individually with the coaches.