(Photo by Mark Philbrick)
PROVO, Utah—Junior first baseman Katie Manuma garnered her first Pacific Coast Softball Conference Player of the Week honor, while junior pitcher Tori Almond grabbed her second Pitcher of the Week award to close out conference play.
BYU swept SUU in a doubleheader on Tuesday, before clinching the PCSC championship against Saint Mary's on Friday and Saturday to earn an automatic bid to its ninth-straight postseason appearance.
Manuma hit a .643 clip in the in-state matchup against Southern Utah and conference finale against Saint Mary’s. She helped lead the team to a 6-0 record, scoring five runs and recording six RBI. Against Saint Mary’s on Saturday, Manuma helped BYU clinch the PCSC conference championship after hitting 5 for 5 on the day with two runs scored and two RBI. Manuma also earned two wins against the Gaels from the mound.
Almond highlighted last week with her first career no-hitter against Saint Mary’s in game two on Saturday. In three starts last week, one against SUU and two against Saint Mary's, Almond collected a 3-0 record with a 0.39 ERA and held opponents to just a .145 batting average. In 18.0 innings pitched, she gave up just one earned run and struck out 14 for her second PCSC POW nod of the season.
Manuma and Almond are two of the team's six juniors who have won conference championships in each of its last three years in different conferences. In 2011 the team won the conference championship in its last season in the Mountain West Conference. In 2012, BYU went to the Western Athletic Conference tournament and defeated conference-leading Hawai'i to earn conference championship honors and an automatic bid to the NCAAs.
BYU will close out its season this Saturday in the Deseret First Duel against Utah at Gail Miller Field at 1:30 p.m. MDT. The team will also find out its playoff position on Sunday, May 12, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPNU.