BYU softball shows no mercy in doubleheader against Idaho State

In its first official matchup at Gail Miller Field in 2023, BYU softball earned two dominating wins against Idaho State in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.

The two games against the Bengals were created just recently after BYU’s scheduled trip to Omaha this week was cancelled due to poor weather conditions in the midwest.

This was the second time this season that BYU faced Idaho State. In their last meet two weeks prior, the Cougars won 4-3 in a close contest down in Saint George.

Saturday was quite the opposite as BYU decided both games pretty easily with final scores of 10-1 and 12-0. The mercy rule was also invoked in both matchups, making it the second and third time that the Cougars have finished a game after only five innings.

“I’m pretty happy (with today’s performance),” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “(We had) excellent pitching, solid defense, (and) explosive hitting at the start of the game to take control. Overall, I think it was a good day in all facets of the game.”

Senior pitcher Chloe Temples was instrumental in their first win as she was on fire right from the get-go. Temples finished with seven strikeouts and only two hits, increasing her record as pitcher on the year to 3-3.

The Cougar’s hitting was just as impressive in the 1 p.m. matchup as they were led by senior first baseman Huntyr Ava who ended the game with two hits, 3 RBI’s, and a 2-run home run in the second inning.

Meanwhile, Idaho State could get nothing going on either sides of the bat as they were held scoreless until the fourth inning and also committed three errors throughout. The only Bengals that could hit from the plate were freshman right fielder Ava Brown and senior second baseman Angelica Cano.

On the injury front, BYU star player and former WCC Player of the Year, junior outfielder Violet Zavodnik left the first game early after being hit by a pitch in the head in her first at-bat and never returned.

“No updates at this point. They are testing her for concussion protocol and she has some nausea (from the hit). Hopefully, she’ll be okay,” Eakin said.

In the second game, freshman pitcher Kaysen Korth picked up right where Temples left off and finished with seven strikeouts, two hits, and a complete shutout en route to another dominating victory. The game improved Korth’s record for the year to 9-2.

“(Our pitchers) did a great job, both of them,” Eakin said. “I can’t say enough about the way that they responded today. Idaho State is much better than the scores were, but our pitching really stepped up.”

Ava also continued to do what she does from the plate in the 3 p.m. contest as she added two hits, five RBI’s and another home run, making it a total of six homers on the year, but that’s nothing new for the returning senior coming back from a concussion injury of her own.

“Honestly, it felt pretty normal (to have a game like that) because I feel like that’s what (the coaches) expect me to do. So, to be able to provide like that is a very reassuring feeling,” Ava said.

The Bengals attempted to put up a tougher fight but another error-filled game plagued them from ever making it close. In fact, it was their worst loss this season.

BYU now improves to 14-6 on the season and will next welcome in Boise State on Tuesday, Utah State on Thursday, and Idaho State once more on Saturday as they continue their six-game home stand.

Full postgame interview with BYU head coach Gordon Eakin
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