BYU needs to defeat Saint Mary's once to clinch its sixth consecutive conference championship. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – BYU softball puts its 10-game winning streak on the line with a five-game home stand to finish the season.
Utah Valley will travel up University Parkway to play the Cougars in a doubleheader Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m. MDT at Gail Miller Field. Earlier this season, Tori Almond, McKenna Bull and Ashley Thompson combined for BYU’s 16th no-hitter in program history. They were one walk away in the final inning from finishing with a perfect game.
Saint Mary’s will come to town on Friday to begin a three-game series to decide the eventual West Coast Conference Champion. BYU clinched the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Championship last year with a doubleheader sweep over Saint Mary’s at home. The Cougars will look to do the same this year, needing to take only one game from the Gaels to clinch the championship, while the Gaels need a sweep to win the title.
The two teams will meet Friday in a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. MDT before wrapping up the series on Saturday at noon.
BYU (28-21, 9-2 WCC)
BYU capped off an undefeated week on the road with a 9-6 comeback victory over Pacific on Saturday. The Cougars put up six home runs in the three game-series with Pacific to put them in prime position to win the conference.
McKenzie St. Clair led the team at the plate with a .600 batting average to go along with five runs, three RBI, two doubles, five walks and a .733 on-base percentage. With the game tied with Pacific in the top of the sixth Saturday, St. Clair hit a two-out double and scored on a bloop single to left field to give BYU the 7-6 lead. She added a two-RBI two-out infield single that was lost in the sun in the top of the seventh to give the Cougars a little more breathing room and finish 3-for-4 on the day.
BYU also received two home runs in the series from both Katie Manuma and Ashley Thompson. Mercedes O’Connor and Gordy Bravo each had one home run. Almond allowed only one earned run to the Tigers on her way to being named the WCC Pitcher of the Week. She totaled six strikeouts in the series over 8.1 innings pitched.
Utah Valley (14-38, 5-9 WAC)
Utah Valley has struggled in conference play and it has lost four straight. They dropped an 8-0 five-inning contest to No. 1 Oregon before taking the Ducks to the wire in a 5-4 loss on Tuesday.
The Wolverines are dangerous on the base paths ranking No. 53 in the nation in stolen bases per game, but No. 235 in team batting average with a .243. They are led at the plate by freshman Hailey Kofler with a .288 average, nine doubles and six home runs. Freshman Brianna Gatlin is the top RBI hitter on the team with 26 to go with her team-high 13 doubles.
Senior Josi Summers is the Wolverines' top pitcher with a 7-17 record, 106 strikeouts and a 4.38 ERA. Freshman Bailey Moore has started nine games for the Wolverines and has made 30 appearances. She has a 2-12 record with 62 strikeouts and a 5.47 ERA.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. UVU
Overall Series Record: 28-3
BYU Record in Provo: 13-0
BYU Record in Orem: 13-3
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 2-0
BYU Record under Gordon Eakin: 28-3
Longest BYU Win Streak: 18 (2007-13)
Longest UVU Win Streak: 2 (2013)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 20 (2008)
Largest UVU Margin of Victory: 2 (2006,13)
Most Runs Scored by BYU: 22 (2008)
Most Runs Scored by Utah Valley: 6 (2013)
Saint Mary’s (22-23, 8-4 WCC)
The Gaels have been strong in WCC play sweeping Santa Clara two weeks ago to put them in a position to win the conference. Last week they dropped a 2-1 contest to Stanford and will face UC Davis on Wednesday before travelling to Provo.
Sophomore catcher Andrea Hazel is the Gaels' top hitter with a .346 average and team-highs of six home runs and 25 RBI. She is second on the team with nine doubles and a triple.
Sophomore RHP Lujane Mussadi is the primary starter for Saint Mary’s. She has a 13-12 record to go with a 2.12 ERA and 56 strikeouts. Junior RHP Sarah Lira adds a 7-7 record with a 2.21 ERA and 24 strikeouts. Freshman Katie Moss has been seeing more time in the circle for the Gaels lately. She has a 2-4 record, a 2.91 ERA and 57 strikeouts. Moss was named as the WCC Pitcher of the Week last week.
BYU Series Record Vs. St. Mary’s
Overall Series Record: 8-0
BYU Record in Provo: 4-0
BYU Record in Moraga: 0-0
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 4-0
BYU Record under Gordon Eakin: 6-0
Longest BYU Win Streak: 8 (2001-Present)
Longest St. Mary’s Win Streak: None
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 9 (2003)
Largest St. Mary’s Margin of Victory: None
Most Runs Scored by BYU: 14 (2013)
Most Runs Scored by St. Mary’s: 6 (twice, 2013)