BYU softball charges into last regular season series with sweep over UVU

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Poor weather conditions May 6 didn’t prevent the Cougars (30-21, 9-2) from sweeping their double header against UVU (14-40, 5-9) with a score of 7-2 in the first game and 11-8 in the second.

“Our team is playing with extreme confidence and determination, and it showed today, especially in the second game with getting off to a rocky start,” said BYU head coach Gordon Eakin. “We came back strong and scored 11 runs, so our team’s playing with confidence and I like what I see.”

BYU infielder McKenzie St. Clair applies to a tag to a UVU runner May 6. Photo by Ari Davis
BYU infielder McKenzie St. Clair applies a tag to a UVU runner, May 6. (Photo by Ari Davis)

With UVU leading 7-2 in the second game, the Cougars capitalized on errors made by UVU to begin their comeback. Lacey Hofstedt got on base after a UVU throwing error, and Katie Manuma hit the only BYU home run of the night over the left-center wall, scoring two runs. With two outs in the third inning, a fielding error by the UVU shortstop kept the Cougars alive, enabling Ashlee Robinson to double down the left field line, scoring three runs. Four total errors in the game made by UVU combined with BYU’s nine hits for 11 runs.

The Cougars found their defensive rhythm with Manuma (4-2) taking the pitcher’s circle. Over two and two-thirds innings, Manuma did not allow a single earned run and recorded the win. The ball was handed to McKenna Bull (15-9) in the fifth inning, and she kept UVU off the scoreboard the remainder of the game. Bull recorded her sixth save while striking out five of the 11 batters she faced.

“I always like coming back in relief. it gives me an opportunity to help my team out in a different way than starting,” said BYU pitcher McKenna Bull. “It just makes me feel good when I can get them out of situations.”

Bull’s strong performance started in the first game as she struck out ten batters and took the win to improve her record to 15-9. The Cougars’ defense kept the scoreboard clean from UVU runs until the seventh inning, when the weather took a turn south. A throwing error by BYU allowed UVU to score two runs on two hits.  But Eakin doesn’t blame the weather for the two runs scored.

“The weather wasn’t that bad; it was a little rainy, a little cold. I don’t think it affected us at all,” Eakin said.

The Cougars conclude their regular season with a double header against Saint Mary’s on May 9 at 5 p.m. at Gale Miller Field. BYU will only need to win one of its final three games to take the WCC title. The games will be broadcast live on BYUtv.

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