Broderick and Almond power Cougars to series victory
SAN DIEGO – Sydney Broderick powered BYU softball’s offense to a sweep of San Diego in Saturday's doubleheader, winning the first game 2-1 before taking a come-from-behind 4-3 victory in the second game.
“We’re so proud of our team today for fighting through a weekend that we didn’t play our best and taking 2-of-3 from San Diego,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “Winning on the road in conference play is always a difficult task. Even though we didn’t hit on all cylinders this weekend, we got it done when it counted."
Broderick finished 5-for-7 with a home run, two doubles and four RBI. Tori Almond had her best day of the season by pitching a complete game with nine strikeouts to get the win in the first game and going the first 3.2 innings in the second game with two strikeouts. She gave up only two earned runs on the day. McKenna Bull pitched the final 3.1 innings with five strikeouts for the win in the second game.
With the game scoreless through the first four innings, Carly Duckworth doubled down the left-field line to lead-off the fifth inning. After Jenny Lahitte struck out two, Broderick doubled to right field to give the Cougars the 1-0 lead. After a one-out walk in the bottom of the fifth, San Diego doubled to right-center field, but Coco Tauali’i threw to Lauren Bell who ran down the batter on her way to third and helped catch the other runner in a pickle between third base and home to end the inning.
The game began as a pitching duel between Almond and Lahitte. Both pitchers retired the side in the first inning. In the second inning, Katie Manuma was hit by a pitch and Mercedes O’Connor reached on an error to put runners in scoring position with one out, but Lahitte struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning. Almond answered in the bottom of the frame, getting a strike out and a pop out to get out of a bases-loaded jam.
In the third, Broderick doubled to right-center field with one out to give BYU its first hit of the series, but the Cougars were unable to bring her any closer. Broderick caught a runner stealing and caught a ball in foul territory to help keep the game scoreless after three innings.
After a scoreless sixth, Ashlee Robinson and Broderick walked and Bell singled to load the bases with one out. Gordy Bravo then hit a sacrifice fly to right to give BYU a two-run cushion. The Toreros answered with one run in the bottom of the seventh with a sacrifice fly, but Almond struck out the final batter to seal the win for the Cougars.
With the Toreros leading 3-1 in the top of the seventh, Lacey Millett Hofstedt drew a walk after falling behind in the count 0-2 and Robinson doubled to right field to put the tying run in scoring position. Broderick then homered to right field to give BYU the 4-3 lead. It was her fourth home run of the season all within the last week. Bull then retired all three batters she faced in the seventh, including two strikeouts, to give BYU the series win.
Both teams got off to a good start offensively with the Cougars scoring on three consecutive singles by Bell, O’Connor and Manuma to take a 1-0 lead. The Toreros answered with a single and a double that got lost in the sun by Bell to tie the game in the bottom of the frame. They then took a 2-1 lead on a fielding and throwing error by the Cougars.
BYU loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the second, but the Cougars were unable to cross a run to tie the game. In the bottom of the frame, San Diego added a run to its lead with a single to left field to bring in the runner on second.
Neither team could get any offense started in the third inning keeping it 3-1 headed to the fourth. San Diego threatened again in the fourth after a walk and a double, but Duckworth relayed to Tauali’i at second who threw out the runner at home to keep the lead at two.
The Cougars will travel to nearby Orem, Utah, for their next game to take on in-state rival Utah Valley on Tuesday at 3 p.m. MDT.