Cameron Muh | Posted: 17 Mar 2023 | Updated: 23 Mar 2023

Cougars host Bengals in home-opening doubleheader

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BYU softball crowns Hailey Morrow after home run at Utah Tech on March 16, 2023

PROVO, Utah — Coming off a 3-1 win at Utah Tech on Thursday afternoon, BYU softball will host Idaho State in a Saturday afternoon doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. MDT at Gail Miller Field.

The newly scheduled doubleheader against the Bengals will be the Cougars' home opener this season after the team's originally scheduled 2023 home opener against Utah earlier in the week had to be postponed due to inclement weather. 

Game Information

  • Live Stream: BYUtv app
  • Talent: Dave McCann and Gary Sheide
  • Live Stats: Game 1 | Game 2 (Stat Broadcast)
  • Admission: Free

The freshmen led the way in BYU's win over the Trailblazers on Thursday as pitcher Kaysen Korth registered 13 strikeouts and catcher Hailey Morrow's 2-run homer proved to be the difference in the game. 

Korth pitched a complete game, giving up just five hits and one run. Morrow went 2-for-3 at the plate with one run and 2 RBI for the day. Left fielder Maddie Bejarano went 1-for-3 with a run scored. 

The Cougars have alternated weekends hitting home runs after recording none the opening weekend in Mexico or at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in week three. BYU launched nine long bombs in just four games at the Littlewood Classic during week two, and four at the Trailblazer Tournament in St. George in week four.

Morrow and center fielder Violet Zavodnik each blasted a pair of long shots for the Cougars at the tourney two weeks ago. After a week off, Morrow's two-run jack Thursday continued the trend for BYU. The Cougars look to add to their home run tally, now at 14 on the year, on Saturday with two games against Idaho State. 

Bejarano continues to lead the team offensively this season, reaching base safely in all of BYU’s 18 games this year while batting .396 with an on-base percentage of .508. 

The Cougars rank in the top-100 nationally in five statistical categories: hit batters (No. 20, 5), fielding percentage (No. 50, .973), home runs per game (No. 68, 0.78), scoring (No. 71, 5.11), strikeout-to-walk ratio (No. 91, 2.24) and on-base percentage (No. 92, .363)

Four BYU players also find their names amongst the top 50 of the individual statistical categories. Zavodnik ranks No. 14 in hit by pitch per game (0.39), while Korth is No. 26 in strikeouts per seven innings (10.2) and No. 27 in total strikeouts (87). Bejarano ranks No. 38 in sacrifice bunts per game (0.22) and Korth is also No. 43 in total wins, with eight. 

A LOOK AT IDAHO STATE (8-15, 0-0 Big Sky)
The Bengals also had a pair of series canceled (North Dakota State and Santa Clara) due to winter weather this week, allowing the two teams to meet for the second and third time in the last two weeks. Idaho State has lost two straight, falling to Minnesota and North Dakota State after beating Central Michigan in Minnesota last week. The Bengals won four games in a row earlier in the season, beating Texas and Illinois-Chicago twice in Lake Charles, Louisiana, back in February.

Two seasons in as head coach at Idaho State, Andrew Rich is 33-42 (.440). BYU leads the all-time series, 17-2. The Cougars are 13-1 against the Bengals at Gail Miller Field and have won the last five matchups dating back to 2014. The two teams are scheduled to play three more times after Saturday, with Idaho State returning to Provo for a second doubleheader next Saturday, March 25, and BYU making the trip to Pocatello on Tuesday, April 4. 

The Cougars will remain in Provo next week for a four-game homestand, beginning with a Tuesday evening matchup against Boise State at 5 p.m. MDT. BYU will then host Utah State on Thursday, March 23, also at 5 p.m., and a second Saturday doubleheader against Idaho State in as many weeks, with first pitches scheduled for 1 p.m and 3 p.m MDT. 

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