Tough weekend for BYU softball

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The BYU softball team played Fresno State this weekend, losing the first two games 3-1 and 10-9 before the third game was cancelled after the fourth inning due to rain.

The Cougars are now 3-2 in the Western Athletic Conference with a 21-10 record on the season.

In game one, junior pitcher Hannah Howell gave up a solo home run and a 2-RBI single in the third inning to give the Bulldogs a comfortable lead. BYU couldn’t produce offensively and only turned three hits into one run to go down to Fresno State. Sophomore Carly Duckworth went 2-for-3 in the game while also batting in the only run for the Cougars.

The Cougars came out with a little bit more fight in the second game on Friday night. BYU was down 10-4 late in the game and put together a huge rally in in the sixth inning, scoring five runs. Sophomore Katie Manuma had the big hit of the inning with a double that cleared the bases, giving her four RBIs in the game.

BYU had a chance to pull ahead or tie in the seventh with two runners on and one out, but with a strike out and a ground out, the Cougars lost another heart breaker to the Bulldogs. Senior Jessica Dugas went 3-for-3 in the game while junior JC Clayton had three hits and two runs. Senior Delaney Willard also picked up two hits and two RBIs.

In the last game of the series, BYU came out hitting to start the game. After a lead-off double by Dugas, senior Delaney Willard came up to knock a two-run home run to go up 2-0 in the first.

After another run scored by the Cougars and a three-run blast by the Bulldogs, the game was tied at 3-3 going into the fourth. Five innings must be played for the game to be counted, both statistically and towards the records, and after an hour rain delay the game was cancelled forfeiting the statistics for the game.

Head coach Gordon Eakin said his team has done a good job at coming back from hard losses this season and hopes this will prove to help them next week as they face another hard team in Hawaii.

“As far as bouncing back from difficult losses in general, I think the team has responded well all year long in not getting down from losses but responding positively to them,” Eakin said. “I think our team doesn’t focus on the score and just focuses on playing pitch by pitch, inning by inning and we let the score take care of itself. So in that regard, I think our team has grown a lot and done a great job of playing the game the way it should be played.”

The Cougars will have to put these games behind with another tough week ahead of them, as they play SUU on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MT and then face No. 11 Hawaii on Friday and Saturday in another WAC series. Look for these games to be broadcast on BYUtv.

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