Cameron Muh | Posted: 15 Mar 2023 | Updated: 21 Mar 2023

Cougars travel to St. George to visit Trailblazers

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BYU softball high fives during game against Oregon State in the Trailblazer Tournament at Karl Brooks Field in St. George, Utah

PROVO, Utah — BYU softball heads down to St. George to face Utah Tech in a single game at Karl Brooks Field on Thursday afternoon. With the Cougars' Wednesday night home opener against No. 25 Utah postponed, the Cougars will have gone 12 days in between games, last playing Idaho State in St. George on March 3. 

Going 3-1 at the Trailblazer Tournament two weeks ago, BYU dropped its opener to Oregon State before winning three-straight against UNLV, Portland State and Idaho State. Striking out 15 Rebel batters, freshman Kaysen Korth tied the school record for most strikeouts in a single game en route to the second WCC Pitcher of the Week honor of her young career. 

Starting all four games behind the plate, freshman catcher Hailey Morrow also led the Cougars at the plate, going 6-for-13 with a .462 average, tallying four runs, two doubles, two homers and eight RBI. The Las Vegas, Nev. native recorded a 1.077 slugging percentage and .533 on-base percentage. 

The Cougars have alternated weekends hitting home runs after not sending any homers out at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Mexico during week one or at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California in week three. BYU launched nine long bombs in just four games at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Arizona during week two, and four at the Trailblazer Tournament in St. George in week four. Freshman Hailey Morrow and junior Violet Zavodnik each launched a pair of long balls for the Cougars at the tourney two weeks ago. 

Junior left fielder Maddie Bejarano continues to lead the team this season offensively, reaching base in all of BYU’s 17 games this year and batting .400 with an on-base percentage of .516. 

The Cougars rank in the top-100 nationally in five statistical categories: hit batters (No. 44, 5), fielding percentage (No. 55, .971), scoring (No. 58, 5.24), home runs per game (No. 66, 0.76) and on-base percentage (No. 74, .370). 

Three BYU players also find their names amongst the top-50 of the individual statistical categories. Korth ranks No. 28 in strikeouts, with 74, No. 32 in strikeouts per seven innings, with 9.8, and No. 33 in victories, at seven. Junior center fielder Violet Zavodnik is No. 30 in hit by pitch per game (0.35), and Bejarano rounds it out with 0.24 sacrifice bunts per game, ranking No. 37. 

The Trailblazers have lost their last two games after winning the first game of their series with UC Santa Barbara last week. Utah Tech went 4-1 at its Trailblazer Tournament two weeks ago, picking up wins over Oregon State, UNLV and two against Idaho State while dropping an extra-inning game to Portland State. The Trailblazers have played two of BYU's WCC opponents this season, splitting two games against Saint Mary's and earning a win at San Diego.

Randy Simkins has been at Utah Tech for 14 seasons, posting a 487-202 record (.707). BYU leads the all-time series, 3-0. The Cougars took last year's matchup in St. George, 8-6, and swept both matchups in Provo back in 2021, 7-1 and 8-2. The two teams are scheduled to meet again in St. George on Monday, March 27, and in Provo on Wednesday, April 28.

After BYU’s first of two matchups with Utah Tech, the Cougars will return to Provo for their newly scheduled doubleheader turned home opener against Idaho State on Saturday, March 18. The games are slated to have 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. MDT first pitches, with broadcast plans to be announced at a later date.

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