It’s October which means changing leaves, cross country races, the Farmer’s Market, and… Softball? That’s right even though softball’s official schedule hasn’t been released for the 2019 season, the team is out playing games preparing for the upcoming season.
BYU’s Softball team is BYU’s most successful sport that BYU has in Conference play. The Cougars have played in four different conferences since 2000 and found success in all of them. In the 18 seasons that BYU has played, the Cougars have won 13 conference championships including 11 in a row.
Head coach, Gordon Eakin, gives a lot of credit of the team’s success to getting to know his team in a game setting months before the regular season starts. He said, “You can see what their incoming players can do, how they fit into the system, integrate them into the system and see how they do in competition.”
Unlike other sports, like basketball and football that allow little to no exhibitions until the season starts or is about to start, softball is given up to eight exhibition games before the season starts.
Although teams are allowed eight games, many teams don’t take advantage of this opportunity.
Eaken says that playing games is the best way to see what his team is made of. He continues, “We play blue and white games but that becomes familiar and they don’t raise to the intensity level that they need to when they are playing against each other.”
Senior all-american first baseman, Libby Sugg, thinks that taking advantage of real game time experience will help the Cougars go far this season. She said, “We are going to go farther than we have this year. This team is looking really good.”
On October 4, the Cougars had their second game this fall. The cougars played Salt Lake Community College and were able to pull together an all around good game. The game ended early in the seventh inning due to rain, with the Cougars taking the game 6-0.
The cougars will play six more games this fall, including games against Boise State, UVU, and UNLV. Games are free to the public, and the schedule can be found by going to byucougars.com/softball.