BYU Softball Earns 22nd Straight Home Win

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Under the lights and in frigid weather, the BYU softball team came out battling for its 22nd straight home win Tuesday evening at Miller Park. The Cougars defeated the Bengals 5-2 in their home debut.

Sophomore pitcher Tori Almond started for the Cougars, giving up only three hits and one run, with five strikeouts. Junior Hannah Howell and freshman Caroline Umphlett also made appearances. Senior Jessica Dugas led the team offensively with two hits and one RBI.

Dugas said as the leadoff batter, it’s her job to get on base.

“It sets the whole mood for the game,” she said. “Getting on base hypes up the team and gets our rallies going. I just try my best to get on base every time.”

The score remained 0-0 until the top of the second after a leadoff hit by Idaho State batter Gabby Lopez. Advancing to second on a bunt and to third on an error by the catcher, Lopez came in for the first run of the game on a wild pitch by Almond.

With two outs and runners on the corners in the bottom of the third, senior Delaney Willard looked to steal second and was caught in a rundown. Meanwhile, Dugas scored from third for the first Cougar run of the game before Willard was tagged out to end the inning, evening the score at 1-1.

In the top of the fourth, Howell came in to pitch, giving up one hit and no runs.

The Cougars continued to tack on runs in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Stacie Toney, who is second on the team in batting average, hit her third home run of the season for the second run of the game. Sophomore Carly Duckworth  then walked and advanced to third after a hit back to the pitcher and throwing error to first.

The next Cougar batter, freshman Anna Hudson, came up big with a hard line drive past second base to advance the runner on first and bring in Duckworth for the third run of the game.

Dugas continued the streak with a hit to second, sacrificing herself but bringing in the runner for run number four. After a pitching change, Hudson came in to score on a wild pitch by the Idaho State pitcher to make the score 5-1 heading into the fifth.

Idaho State chipped away at the score in the top of the fifth, scoring one run on three hits.

With the score 5-2, the last of the Cougar pitchers, Umphlett, came in to close out the game. She held Idaho State to no runs or hits in her stint. Howell was credited with her eighth win of the season, while Umphlett earned her second save of the season.

Pitching coach Vaughn Alvey said he was overall pleased with the effort of his pitchers.

“We fought our way through,” he said. “I liked our effort.”

The Cougars improved their record to 16-8 and play next in a Western Athletic Conference  series against New Mexico State.

 

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