BYU started-off its season with a small stumble, losing 4-3 against Weber State, before igniting the bats in a 10-2 win over Southern Utah in the cougars’ 10th appearance Thursday at the annual Red Desert Classic.
“I feel like today had some positive things happen and some not so positive,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “With a young team, and especially with young pitchers, we have to be patient. I saw signs that we are going in the right direction. So I am confident that when we really need it, it will be there.”
Various cougars contributed to the team’s success on opening day.
Coco Taualii was 3-for-5 batting on the day and posted two RBIs. Carly Duckworth batted .500, allowing her to punch in a pair of RBIs as well. Gordy Bravo batted 2-for-2 and scored a run in the first game against the Wildcats, while Megan Arnold came alive in the second game and batted 2-for-3 with a three-run homer.
BYU vs. Weber State
The cougars fought their way into a 3-0 lead through the first three innings with Taualii scoring in the first. BYU Pitcher McKenna Bull, and the cougar defense, held the Wildcats scoreless all the way through the fourth inning.
The Wildcats finally scored their first run in the top of the fifth inning, and came out swinging their way through the sixth. Aly Kulp hit a three-run homer to give Weber State the lead, 4-3.
Gordy Bravo singled in the bottom of the sixth, putting BYU in position to tie up the game. However, the Cougars were unable to bring anyone across home plate in the remaining innings, falling in their opening game.
BYU vs. Southern Utah
Taualii set the tone for BYU in its second game of the day with a lead-off homerun. She was followed by a two-run homer from Duckworth that pushed BYU out to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
The Thunderbirds bunted their way into loaded bases in the second inning, and scored two runs on a BYU error. Taualii and Lauren Bell posted RBIs in the bottom of the second to bring McKenzie St. Clair and Mercedes O’Connor home. BYU led 5-2.
Broderick walked onto base in the fourth and was later brought home by St. Clair’s first career home run, extending the cougars lead, 7-2.
Consistent pitching from Ashley Thompson, who allowed just one hit all game, and a three-run homer from Arnold, sealed the cougar’s first victory of the season, 10-2.
The cougars continue play in the Red Desert Classic Friday against Nevada at 11:00 am MST and against East Carolina at 1:30 pm.
To see the cougars roster, stats and schedule visit byucougars.com.