Eakin gets 500th career win as Bull controls from the circle
SANTEE, Calif. – Pitcher McKenna Bull dictated the pace as BYU softball picked up two wins in its final day of the San Diego Classic II Saturday.
The sophomore threw two complete games as the Cougars (17-7) beat Western Carolina 3-1 and UConn 4-1.
With the wins over the Catamounts and Huskies, BYU head coach Gordon Eakin reached career win No. 500 with an all-time record of 500-230 as a division I head coach, but he credits the stellar teams he's had along the way.
"To me, the 500 wins belong to the team–it's the program's 500th," said Eakin, who is currently in his 13th year.
Bull picked up both wins for the Cougars, upping her record to 17-4 while only giving up 10 hits, one earned run and six walks. She fanned 19 batters, including 10 against WCU and nine against UConn.
Senior Lacey Hofstedt gave BYU a spark at the plate with her team-leading four hits in seven at-bats and one RBI to go along with one run scored and one stolen base on the day. Senior Megan Arnold went 2-for-3 from the plate while Gordy Bravo also had two hits with an RBI and a stolen base.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Cougars got on the board with an RBI-single by Bravo. Bell followed with an RBI-single of her own to give BYU the 2-0 edge heading into the fourth.
After retiring the side in order, the Cougars tacked on another run with Hofstedt's second hit of the game, driving in Madison Merrell for the 3-0 tally.
The BYU defense proved strong again as the Catamounts (7-15) were held without a run until the top of the seventh when they cut the lead to 3-1 with no outs in the inning. The Cougars then got a runner out on a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout. The last batter flied out to end the game.
The second game began differently for BYU as it found itself in an early hole after the first inning, down 1-0 to the Huskies (7-11).
With the 2-1 advantage, BYU didn't look back as it put a couple insurance runs on the board in the fifth. O'Connor produced two more RBI on a single to center, scoring Bravo and Brittany Call.
UConn threatened with two outs and runners on the corners in the sixth inning, but Bull got the third out with a strikeout swinging. The Cougars then retired the side in order in the seventh frame as Bull fanned two more batters in the final inning.
The Cougars will prepare this week for their home-opening series against Oklahoma State this weekend with games slated for Friday at 4 p.m. MDT and 6 p.m. along with a third game Saturday at 1 p.m. All three will be broadcast on BYUtv. BYU will also face UVU Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.