PROVO, Utah – After falling behind 10-0 in the first game, the BYU softball team made its largest ever comeback in team history to win 11-10 over Idaho State and followed up with a 9-2 win to complete the sweep on Saturday.
“I told the team that today was sort of a defining moment for us,” BYU softball coach Gordon Eakin said. ”The first three innings of the first game looked like it was very defining, but I’m proud of them because they didn’t quit and we found a way to fight and come back and win. I think that was a test of character, so that was a nice moment for us.”
Freshman Sydney Broderick was a perfect 3-for-3 in the first game, nearly hitting for the cycle with a home run, triple and 3 RBIs. She followed with a 2-for-3 performance in the second game with another triple and an RBI. Redshirt freshman McKenzie St. Clair was 5-for-7 on the day with five RBIs, a double and three runs. Freshman McKenna Bull also had a strong outing despite being sick. She had a save in the first game and won the second game going all seven innings with nine strikeouts and allowing only two hits.
Trailing 10-7 in the fifth, the Cougars (13-19) produced four runs on three hits to win the game. Broderick, who had a two-run homer in the third batted 3-for-3 and Lacey Millett Hofstedt and St. Clair (4 RBI) were each 3-for-4 for the Cougars.
The Bengals (19-14) scored all 10 of their runs in the first three innings, six of which came from Terah Blackwell who hammered two three-run homeruns in the first two innings and went 3-for-3 in the game.
Lauren Bell drew the leadoff walk in the bottom of the third. Back at the top of the lineup, Broderick smashed a two-run shot over the scoreboard to record BYU’s first two runs. Hofstedt followed with a single to left field and advanced to second on an illegal pitch. St. Clair singled to left field, bringing in Hofstedt - the Cougars' third run.
In bottom of the fourth, Ashlee Robinson watched four balls to get on base. Broderick tripled, nailing the top of the center field wall bringing in Robinson.
Katie Manuma (3-2), entered in the fifth to earn her third win on the year and hold the Bengals to no more runs.
Gordy Bravo singled to lead the Cougars in the bottom of the fifth. With Bravo in scoring position, St. Clair singled through left for an RBI. Manuma followed with her second homer of the series with a two-run bomb over center to bring the Cougars up 10-7.
In the bottom of the sixth, Thompson drew the walk on bases loaded to bring in the Cougars’ eighth run and force an Idaho State pitching change. With no outs, St. Clair punched one to right center to bring in the tying run of the game. After Idaho State intentionally walked Manuma, loading the bases again, Mercedes O’Connor singled up the middle for the go-ahead run.
Bull entered in the seventh for Manuma. In an exciting finish, the Cougars retired the Bengals with the tying run, Blackwell, at the plate. With two outs, catcher Broderick caught the runner at first stealing to end the game.
BYU held Idaho State scoreless in the top of the first inning. Hofstedt walked and then stole second and third to get into scoring position in the bottom of the first. After Manuma walked, St. Clair doubled to left field to bring Hofstedt in for the first run of the game. Manuma advanced to third and came home on O’Connor’s single to center field for an RBI, while St. Clair scored on a throwing error to lead 3-0 after the first.
Idaho State scored two runs in the second to close within 3-2, but Broderick tripled down the right-field line to bring Robinson home for the Cougars and extended the lead to two going to the third inning.
Both teams were scoreless in the third despite Carly Duckworth’s single to shortstop while advancing to second on a fielding error by Idaho State. Manuma also advanced to third on the same play. Bull recorded back-to-back strikeouts in the top of the third and fourth innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, Bell singled to shortstop and Broderick walked to put runners on first and second. Bravo singled up the middle to bring Bell home for the 5-2 lead after four.
Bull retired the side in the top of the fifth and recorded her fifth strikeout of the day. The Cougars scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 9-2. Following Duckworth’s single up the middle to load the bases, Robinson singled to shortstop bringing in St. Clair and O’Connor to give the Cougars eight runs. Broderick singled to left field and advanced to second with Robinson advancing to third. Robinson scored on Jenna Goar’s sacrifice fly.
BYU will host Utah State on Wednesday at 4 p.m. MDT at Gail Miller Field. The game will be broadcast live on TheW.tv.