The BYU softball team is finally playing at home Tuesday as it takes on the Idaho State Bengals in a home opener.
The Cougars are coming into the game with a 15-8 record, with four of those losses coming against ranked teams. Idaho State is coming into the game with a 3-19 record and is currently on an eight-game losing streak. BYU has an all-time record of 10-0 against Idaho State and is hoping to earn its 11th win on Tuesday.
Head coach Gordon Eakin said he feels the preseason tournaments helped prepare his team for the season to start.
“We got to look at a variety of players and different lineups to try to find the right combination,” Eakin said. “It has shown some things that we needed to see offensively, defensively and pitching wise. Overall, I’m fairly pleased with the preparation from the preseason.”
The team is led by senior outfielder Delaney Willard and senior infielder Stacie Toney.
Willard is leading the team in batting average (.484), runs batted in (28) and home runs (7). She is also tied for fifth in the NCAA for batting average and is 10th for slugging percentage.
Toney is not far behind in batting average at .424 and also has 17 RBIs and six doubles on the season.
Eakin hopes the BYU community will come out in support of the team on Tuesday for an exciting game.
“If you’ve watched women’s softball before it’s an exciting sport to watch and you know it,” Eakin said. “If you haven’t seen a women’s softball game at this level before, you need to come see what it’s all about. I think [everyone would] be pleasantly surprised with the talent level and the way these girls leave it all on the field.”
Toney agreed the fans won’t be disappointed.
“We have been working so hard,” Toney said. “Softball is exciting and a lot of people don’t even realize that we have a softball team or a softball field. Softball is a lot quicker than baseball and it’s little bit more exciting, I think. There is a lot of energy in the games and we are really excited, so come out and watch us play.”
Junior pitcher Hannah Howell, who is leading the team with 57 strikeouts, said the games are also family friendly.
“It’s just a fun place to be for family and everybody,” Howell said. “We’re exciting to watch and it’s a fun environment.”
The game starts at 6 p.m. MT and will also be broadcast live on BYUtv.