Softball Snatches Win in Home Opener

Junior Hannah Howell improved to 8-4 after getting the win against Idaho State

PROVO, Utah — Finding victory in its first contest this season on Gail Miller Field, the BYU softball team downed Idaho State 5-2 after a strong showing in the fourth inning on a chilly Tuesday night.

“Well, a win’s a win," said BYU coach Gordon Eakin. “It seems to me like every year after we get home from traveling we go a little flat. We didn’t pitch or hit or defend well. We just need to be better for the weekend.”

The win put the Cougars at 16-8 on the season and was BYU’s 22nd-straight home win, the second-longest streak in the nation. ISU falls to 3-20 on the season.

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Tori Almond threw five strikeouts to lead BYU’s pitchers and Hannah Howell threw two in picking up the win. Third baseman Jessica Dugas, second baseman Stacie Toney and centerfielder Anna Hudson each had one RBI.

At the bottom of the third with Idaho State ahead 1-0 and two outs, Dugas ran home on Delaney Willard’s attempt to steal second with the first baseman in hot pursuit. A dash back to first proved unsuccessful for Willard, who was tagged out before she reached the base, but Dugas picked up the run before the out to tie the game.

BYU picked up steam in the fourth inning, with Stacie Toney hitting the ball out of the park for a home run, her third of the season. After Idaho State walked Carly Duckworth, Alexandra Hudson reached first on an error and Duckworth squeezed by the third baseman to make it to third. Anna Hudson stepped up to the plate for a base hit, sending Duckworth home for the Cougars’ second run of the inning and putting BYU ahead for good.

With only one out recorded, the Bengal first baseman picked up a Dugas grounder after the force out and fired it back to home plate, but Bailie Hicken beat the throw to add another run to BYU’s count. A wild pitch advanced Tiffany Messerschmidt to second and sent Anna Hudson to home for the final run of the inning.

In the top of the fifth, Lopez singled and advanced to second base, picking up the RBI as Vicky Galasso scored. Willard ended ISU’s time at bat by catching Courtney Dial’s fly ball in right field.

BYU stopped an Idaho State scoring opportunity in the sixth inning with a double play followed by a Howell strikeout.

The Cougars face new Western Athletic Conference opponent New Mexico State this weekend in a weekend tripleheader. The teams play Friday at 6 p.m. MDT and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. All games will be televised live on BYUtv.