BYU softball took the first two games over Saint Mary’s in the first doubleheader of a 4-game series Friday.
The Cougars started off their first Friday game with an 11-run fourth inning. This helped them overcome a five run deficit, defeating St. Mary’s 14-6.
“We had huge wins, and strange games,” BYU Coach Gordon Eakin said. “The first game looked like we were down and out, we came back and just lit it up offensively. Probably had the best offensive output of our year.”
A walk-off RBI stimulated the second game in the bottom of the seventh inning, helping BYU gain the victory over Saint Mary’s with a final score of 4-3.
With the two victories the Cougars (30-23, 17-5 PCSC) are only one win away from securing their ninth-straight NCAA appearance as the regular season conference champions. Their two games Saturday could determine their standing.
Shortstop JC Clayton led the Cougars in the first game finishing 4-for-4, with 2 RBIs. Pitcher Katie Manuma finished 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs, and also recorded her fourth victory of the season from behind the mound.
The Cougars were down 5-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, but came back strong with 11 runs on 11 hits to take a 12-5 lead. With one out and the bases loaded, Carly Duckworth hit a shot off the third baseman’s glove to drive Bailie Hicken in. The Cougar’s next batter, Gordy Bravo, was hit by a pitch to score another run.
Their next three batters all managed to get singles to drive in four more runs, followed by a two-RBI double from Madisen Robb. BYU added three more runs on the inning as Clayton singled to second base to bring in two more runs. They finished the first game off with a 14-6 victory.
The second game of the doubleheader showed strong pitching from both the Gaels and the Cougars. BYU’s pitcher Tori Almond finished with six strikeouts to top Saint Mary’s ace Lujane Mussadi. Robb finished 2-for-2, including two doubles, with one RBI, while Duckworth went 2-for-4 from the plate and scored two runs.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Coco Taualii singled up the middle and Robb reached the base on a walk. With two outs, Lacey Millett hit a bouncing ball that deflected off of the first baseman’s glove to score Taualii and start to bring the Cougars back with the Gaels holding only a slight lead of 3-2.
In the bottom of the sixth with one out and Taualii on first, Robb struck with her third double of the day to drive in a run and tie the score up at 3-3. The Gaels tried to make a comeback, but Almond held the score.
At the bottom Alexandra Shamo hit a perfect single right up the middle to drive Duckworth in and gave the Cougars a 4-3 victory over the Gaels.
“I think we just need to do the same as today,” Clayton said, regarding the doubleheader on Saturday. “Just come out here and play like we know how and play Cougar softball and we’ll be ok.”
The Cougars will look for their next victory in Saturday’s doubleheader against Saint Mary’s again. The first game is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.