BYU softball sweeps WCC preseason awards

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BYU Softball head coach Gordon Eakin wraps up practice in the Indoor Practice Facility.  Coach Eakin was recently named Coach of the Year in the 2016 College Sports Madness preseason all-conference awards for the West Coast Conference. (Natalie Stoker)
Head coach Gordon Eakin wraps up practice with the team in the Indoor Practice Facility. Coach Eakin was recently named WCC Coach of the Year in the 2016 College Sports Madness preseason awards. (Natalie Stoker)

The BYU softball team has carried away top honors for the West Coast Conference in the 2016 College Sports Madness preseason all-conference awards.

Three of the top awards were won by Cougars last year and they’re picked to repeat again this season. For the second year in a row, senior Gordy Bravo was picked for Field Player of the Year, junior McKenna Bull as Pitcher of the Year and head coach Gordon Eakin for Coach of the Year. Catcher Libby Sugg was thrilled to join the ranks, voted as Freshman of the Year.

“It’s such a privilege to be chosen,” Sugg said. “I had no idea. I love playing for BYU, it’s everything I’ve ever imagined and more.”

On being a freshman and joining a new team, Sugg said that she was nervous at first, but once she got know everyone and figured things out it’s been smooth sailing.

“Once we started playing together, it felt really natural.” Sugg said. “I plan on playing for BYU for the next four years. I wouldn’t think of playing anywhere else.”

The BYU softball team had three players honored on the WCC First Team: Bull, Bravo and Ashley Thompson. Juniors Lauren Bell and McKenzie St. Clair were selected to the Second Team.

Bull said that it’s always fun to win an award and that she was “pretty excited.”

“I’ve been pitching since I was 8-years old. All the hard work I’ve put it the past two years pitching for BYU is really paying off,” Bull said.

In the 2015 season, BYU won the WCC with a 13-2 record in conference. The team contributes this success to their head coach, but Eakin turned down the praise.

“It’s nice to be thought of in these terms, but there’s a lot of softball to be played before we determine who wins,” Eakin said. “In terms of Coach of Year Award, it belongs to the whole BYU softball coaching staff. They’re great. It’s only possible to do what we do because of them. Without them it just wouldn’t be the same.”

The Cougars begin their season at the Kajikawa Classic beginning on February 11.

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