BYU softball victorious in home opener

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The BYU softball home opener was a success for the Cougars, who defeated Marist College 11-6. The ladies stepped on to Gail Miller Field in new uniforms and with the confidence to lead them to victory.

“I love being at home,” Coryn Tauali’i said. “There’s a lot more support here, and it’s a lot more comfortable. It’s also a lot different being able to play on the dirt than playing in the IPF.”

The spring-like weather has allowed the softball team to practice on its home field for the first time before tonight’s opener.

“It’s good to be home, and it’s good to get a win; we’ll take them any way that we can get them right now,” Coach Gordon Eakin said. “We need to continue to put it all together, but right now a win is a win.”

Tori Almond returned to the mound to lead the Cougar defense through the first two innings with six straight strikeouts. The game remained scoreless through three innings before Marissa Bravo hit up the middle to bring in Carly Duckworth for the first Cougar run. Tauali’i  followed as she slipped one past the right fielder to reach third and bring in three extra runs.

Alexandra Hudson Shamo had the best hit of the game when she smashed a triple for the Cougars. The Red Foxes rallied back in the fifth with a three-run homerun to close the gap, but the Cougars answered when Tauali’i brought in two more runs with a stand-up double.

The sixth inning was laced with doubles by Bravo, Katie Manuma and Madisen Robb. Bravo and Manuma had back-to-back two-RBI doubles that locked in the win for the Cougars.

BYU first baseman Katie Manuma connecting with a ball at Gail Miller Field. (Photo by Chris Bunker)
BYU first baseman Katie Manuma connecting with a ball at Gail Miller Field. (Photo by Chris Bunker)

“Tonight we had a lot of key hits,” Bravo said. “We put runners in scoring position, and we actually drove them in and Tori and Hannah brought it today.”

Tauali’i and Bravo believe that the team’s hard work in practice contributed to their win and offensive success.

“We strung our hits together, and that is what was key about this game,” Tauali’i said. “Lately we have been leaving the runners on and haven’t been getting the job done, but we’ve been been working really hard in practice trying to get it all back together.”

The Cougars will next play against the University of San Diego in two double-headers on Friday and Saturday in San Diego.

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