BYU softball celebrates seniors with sweep of USD

Ari Davis
Gordy Bravo attempts to hit during the game against Pacific. Bravo put up five hits and three RBI against USD over the weekend. (Ari Davis)

BYU softball’s sweep of the University of San Diego Toreros culminated Saturday with a 6-2 win on senior day.

“We played very well this weekend,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “It was a difficult weekend with … the breaks in the weather and with us having to try to pull the tarp on and getting it off. It was emotional and draining, but we played great ball, and I’m extremely proud of the team for staying focused and taking care of a very good San Diego team.”

The final game Saturday was also senior day for BYU softball. The team honored right fielder Lacey Hofstedt and first baseman Megan Arnold. Hofstedt had two hits Saturday, and Arnold had two hits in game three.

“Both Megan and Lacey had great performances today and have throughout the season, so they’re an important part of our team,” Eakin said. “More important than that, they’re great representatives of BYU and BYU softball.”

The Cougars fared much better than the Toreros with an 8-0 win in only five innings in the first meeting Friday. BYU scored all eight of its runs in the last three innings of the game. Ashley Thompson and Sydney Broderick’s RBI gave the Cougars a 3-0 edge in the bottom of the third. Five RBI from Gordy Bravo, Lauren Bell, Ashley Thompson and McKenzie St. Clair in the fourth secured the eight-run lead. A three-up-three-down top of the fifth finished the game in BYU’s favor.

Rain picked up, and the second game didn’t begin until about 9:20 p.m., although the start time was scheduled two hours previous. The teams were tied 3-3 at the middle of the third inning when a renewed rain delay postponed the game until Saturday at 11 a.m. BYU didn’t let USD score again when the game resumed, but the Cougars scored five runs in the fifth inning, thanks to Bravo’s home run and St. Clair’s grand slam. An RBI by Bell added BYU’s final run for the 9-3 win.

“Playing with rain delays is really tough because you try to stay hyped, but then you have to sit and wait and you don’t know if you’re going to keep playing or if you’ll get to go home,” Hofstedt said. “It just makes the plays a lot more difficult, but this is probably the second-best team in our conference, so we knew we had to take it to ’em, and the team did a really good job of staying focused and staying in the game regardless of the weather.”

Arnold added that the team’s chemistry helped maintain that focus.

“We’re a different team this year,” Arnold said. “We’re fun and we’re crazy … so the fact that we kept our energy up despite the fact that it was raining and we had delays, that really helped us because they were a little off. They weren’t in their home stadium, and we were able to stay focused while having fun at the same time.”

Alexa Strid hit the first RBI in the final game of the series. Her RBI scored Broderick in the second inning. Strid then scored an unearned run off Bravo’s RBI two batters later to take a 2-0 lead. Strid and Bravo each hit again in the third, one- and two-RBI, respectively. Broderick hit an RBI triple in the fourth that extended the lead to 6-0. The fifth and sixth innings were scoreless, but the Toreros threatened the Cougars’ lead with two runs in the top of the seventh. Pitcher McKenna Bull crushed that chance with a final strikeout, ending the game 6-2.

BYU will play two more series in conference play before postseason begins.

“Everybody needs to just keep hitting the ball like they are,” Hofstedt said. “And have tight defense — if we keep our defense the way it was this weekend we’ll do well.”

The Cougars will compete next in a non-conference game against Weber State Tuesday, April 28, at Gail Miller Field.

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