Cougars host No. 24 Utah, UVU to start the week
PROVO, Utah — Fresh off a 3-0 start in conference, BYU softball will play host to in-state rival No. 24 Utah and cross-town foe Utah Valley on Monday and Tuesday night this week before resuming WCC play at Loyola Marymount.
The Cougars will welcome the Utes to Provo in the rescheduled matchup between the two teams after inclement weather pushed back the contest originally scheduled to be played on March 15.
BYU will then take on Utah Valley in the first of two games between the pair this season, with the second meeting scheduled for next week in Orem.
|Game Information||Date||Time||Live Stream||Live Stats|
|No. 24 Utah||Monday, April 10||5 p.m. MDT||BYUtv app||Stat Broadcast|
|Utah Valley||Tuesday, April 11||6 p.m. MDT||BYUtv app||Stat Broadcast|
Opening league play at Santa Clara last weekend, the Cougars began their WCC slate with a series sweep over the Broncos, winning game one, 4-3 before cursing to 8-2 and 8-0 victories, with the latter coming in five innings as a run-rule win.
BYU started the same lineup in each game of the series, going three-consecutive games with identical starters for the first time this year. Kaysen Korth earned game one and game three starts, while Chloe Temples started in the circle for game two.
Korth picked up her conference-leading 11th and 12th wins on the year, recording a 0.00 ERA with 15 total strikeouts on 11 innings pitched. All nine players in the batting order recorded at least one hit at Santa Clara, with Emma Andrewjeski coming off the bench in Saturday’s run-rule win and roping a double to center field as well.
Three Cougars finished the week with a .444 batting average: Hailey Morrow, Martha Epenesa and Alexis Gilio. Morrow led the team with an .889 slugging percentage and hit one of BYU’s three home runs in the series, along with Huntyr Ava’s two-run jack and Violet Zavodnik’s grand slam.
After homering in five-consecutive games before hitting none in Baton Rouge two weeks ago, the Cougars have hit long bombs in three-straight games and in 15 of their 29 games, totaling 23 home runs this season. Seven different players have gone yard, with Zavodnik's seven leading the team. Morrow and Ava have each sent five deep, tied for second.
Now batting .289 as a team on the year, BYU has five players hitting .300 or better this season: Morrow (.333), Ava (.333), Ailana Agbayani (.320), Gilio (.311) and Maddie Bejarano (.304), with Epenesa right behind at .296. Yet to break into the .300s as a team in 2023, the Cougars look to up their season average with five total games this week.
BYU and Utah were unable to play last season due to weather. The Cougars took the last matchup in walk-off fashion on April 21, 2021, in Provo. After leading for majority of the game, BYU trailed 6-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Back-to-back home runs by Huntyr Ava and Martha Epenesa helped the Cougars earn the 7-6 win.
No. 24 Utah (24-8, 7-4 Pac-12)
- Utah is ranked No. 24 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 while receiving votes in the NFCA rankings
- The Utes earned a series win against Arizona State last week, picking up victories in games one and three while dropping game two
- Utah took the first game of a series at California two weeks ago before falling in the second and third games
- The Utes have also swept a series with Oregon State and beaten LMU, Long Beach State, Santa Clara and Pacific, dropping a pair of games at LSU, all common opponents with the Cougars
- Head coach at Utah for 16 seasons, Amy Hogue is 422-385-1 (.523) since 2008
- BYU leads the all-time series, 35-21. The two teams have split the last 10 matchups, with each team earning five wins.
- The Cougars are 18-6 all-time vs. the Utes in Provo. BYU head coach Gordon Eakin has a 30-14 record against Utah, going 16-4 against the Utes at Gail Miller Field.
Utah Valley (12-20, 6-6 WAC)
- The Wolverines dropped a series with Grand Canyon last week, winning game one before falling in the next two
- Utah Valley swept their conference-opening series against Abilene Christian two week ago
- UVU has played a number of common opponents with the Cougars: Santa Clara, Pacific, LMU, San Diego State, Long Beach State, Portland State, Texas A&M, San Diego, Oregon State, UNLV and Idaho State
- Cody Thompson is in year two with the Wolverines, posting a 36-47 (.434) record in that time
- BYU leads the all-time series, 45-5, winning both matchups last season after going 2-1 against UVU in 2021. The Cougars are 23-1 vs. the Wolverines in Provo.
Following the pair of contests against in-state opponents, BYU will head back to California to resume WCC play in Los Angeles with a three-game series at Loyola Marymount on Friday and Saturday, April 14-15.
BYU softball will hold walk-on tryouts at Gail Miller Field on Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. MDT.