Softball remains atop the PCSC with sweep of CSUB

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah—The BYU softball team broke its season high in runs and hits in game two on Friday night, beating CSU Bakersfield 13-6 after a 4-1 defeat of the Roadrunners in game one at Gail Miller Field.

BYU (25-22, 14-4 Pacific Coast Softball Conference) had just six hits in its 4-1 game one victory, but came out on all cylinders to hit a season-high 15 hits in game two on its way to a 13-6 defeat of CSUB (14-31, 9-13 PCSC). 

"I thought our offense was the key today, even in the first game where we scored four runs," head coach Gordon Eakin said. "We got timely hits and got the job done. We came out aggressive in the second game and took a big lead. I was extremely pleased with the resiliency of our offense and the performances on the mound from Katie Manuma and Caroline Umphlett."

Game 1

Alexandra Hudson Shamo had two RBI for BYU in game one.

BYU allowed one hit in each of the first three innings and picked up one hit of its own, but neither team managed to score. Pitcher Katie Manuma, who recorded the win, retired the Roadrunners in order in the top of the fourth.

Carly Duckworth singled down the left field line, and Gordy Bravo followed with a single to first base to launch the bottom of the fourth. After a BYU out, Shamo tripled to right field, sending Bravo and Duckworth home to pick up two runs for the Cougars, the first runs of the game. Madisen Robb reached second on a fielder’s choice and was aggressive on the base paths, stealing third and forcing a throwing error from the CSU Bakersfield catcher to cross the plate and extend BYU's lead to 3-0. 

In the top of the fifth with a runner on second after a sacrifice bunt, CSU Bakersfield scored on a double. The batter tried to make it a triple, but Robb tagged her out as she slid into third base to send it to the bottom of the fifth.

Bravo tripled to right center to lead off BYU’s turn at bat in the sixth and Robb batted her in on a single to put the Cougars ahead 4-1. BYU held the Roadrunners in the top of the seventh, despite walking one batter. Katie Manuma picked up the win in relief of Howell after giving up just one hit in 4.2 innings pitched. 

Game 2

Coco Taualii led the team in game two, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored and four RBI, including a three-run home run in the sixth. Lacey Millett, Bravo, Manuma and Robb each added two hits apiece in the game. 

BYU hit all the way through its order in the first inning to score six runs on six hits. JC Clayton sparked the six-run barrage with a single up the middle to end her hitting draught on the day. Millett followed with a bunt single and then Bravo brought Clayton in on a sacrifice fly to center field for run number one. Shamo, Robb and Taualii each added RBI singles in the inning and BYU plated two more on a wild pitch and aggressive base running.

A 10-minute sun delay halted the start of the second before CSU Bakersfield was able to take back some runs. Tori Almond issued two walks to start the inning and after allowing the Roadrunners to score on a wild pitch, gave the next two batters a free pass to load the bases with one out.  Duckworth entered the circle and on a 3-2 pitch knocked down a line drive to get the out at home and hold the score at 1-0. However, a loaded-bases walk brought in one more run and a double to left center cut the BYU lead to 6-4 heading into the bottom of the frame.

Bravo singled to third to start the bottom and scooted all the way home on a line-drive double from Manuma to push the score to 7-4 in favor of BYU. Robb added her second RBI-single of the game to put another Cougar run on the board.

Manuma took the mound to start the third and after striking out the first batter surrendered two straight singles up the middle. However, a pop up and a ground out held the score at 8-4.

BYU scored two more runs in the bottom of the third, highlighted by a long double from Bravo that landed on the warning track in right field to score a run. CSUB knocked in two more in the top of the fourth to cut the Cougar lead to 10-6. The bottom of the frame was BYU’s first inning without scoring a run in the game.

Caroline Umphlett came in relief of Manuma in the top of the fourth and gave up no earned runs and four hits in four innings pitched to earn her second win of the season. Taualii provided some help on defense in the top of the sixth, recording every out for the Cougars on a shallow right-field pop fly and a 4-3 double play.

Taualii dealt another blow to the Roadrunners in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run bomb to extend BYU’s lead to 13-6. A 1-2-3 top of the seventh sealed the victory for BYU.

BYU returns to Gail Miller Field Saturday to play another doubleheader against CSU Bakersfield with game one starting at 1 p.m. MDT. Both games will be broadcast live on BYUtv. 

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