BYU softball sweeps first series of WCC play

McKenzie St. Clair prepares to swing in the Cougars’ game against OSU. St. Clair hit two RBI on the weekend at Saint Mary’s.

BYU softball swept Saint Mary’s College in the teams’ three-game series this weekend (7-3, 3-2, 8-5). The games in California marked the beginning of West Coast Conference play.

Catcher Sydney Broderick led the team offensively with 7-for-12 hitting on the weekend, including two home runs in one game. McKenna Bull pitched 20 innings in three games for the Cougars, striking out 21 batters total.

“We’re fortunate to get a three-game sweep when we didn’t play our best softball,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “We did step up when we needed to in all three games — hitting the ball or shutting them down.”

Bull shone in Friday’s game, which saw the Cougars win in extra innings. She pitched a career-high 10 innings and tied another career high by striking out 14 batters.

Lauren Bell’s two-run homer in the third inning scored the first runs of the game. Ashley Thompson followed with a solo home run two batters later. Saint Mary’s scored two in the fourth and tied the game 3-3 in the sixth. The score stayed tied through nine innings until the Cougars scored four runs in the 10th to win 7-3.

Mercedes O’Connor hit an RBI-single in the first inning of game one on Saturday. Broderick followed in the third inning with a solo home run that put BYU up 2-0. Saint Mary’s scored in the fourth, but Broderick hit another homer in the fifth for a 3-1 lead, giving the team enough offense for the 3-2 victory.

BYU had a hitting streak going early in the final game of the weekend. The team scored four runs in the first inning and two more in the second, while the Gaels only earned two. But SMC closed the gap to 6-5 with three runs in the third. Ashley Thompson entered the game as a relief pitcher in the fourth and was able to stop the Gaels from scoring any more. Broderick’s final two-RBI double helped BYU finish with the 8-5 win.

The Cougars will play UVU in a non-conference game Tuesday in Orem before returning to Gail Miller Field April 10 for a series against Pacific.

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