BYU softball: Cougars travel to Santa Clara for PCSC series

By Jamie Morris

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, April 17 2013 5:59 p.m. MDT

PROVO, Utah — Coming off a 2-2 series split with LMU, the BYU softball team remains atop the Pacific Coast Softball Conference as it travels to Santa Clara for a four-game series on Friday and Saturday with doubleheaders on both days starting at 12 p.m. PDT at the newly built SCU Softball Field.

BYU quick hits

Senior pitcher Hannah Howell recorded the second perfect game in program history against LMU on Saturday. Her perfect five innings helped lead the team to an 11-0 victory. She was named College Sports Madness Player of the Week in the PCSC for her performance, her second honor this season.

BYU had a combined three hits in its two games against LMU on Friday, but the Cougar bats came alive Saturday with 26 combined hits to outscore LMU 20-4 in the doubleheader.

Gordy Bravo had the team’s first in-the-park home run against LMU.

The Cougars have an overall record of 4-1 against the Broncos, including a four-game win streak. This will be the first time the two teams will play one another since 2010.

After this series, BYU will return to Provo for an 11-game homestand to end the regular season.

Opponent notes

The Broncos are 6-34 on the season and 3-9 in Pacific Coast Softball conference play. Santa Clara returns junior outfielder Stephanie Fisher as its offensive leader. As a sophomore, she led the team with 13 doubles and a .510 slugging percentage and has continued her dominance at the plate this year with a .372 batting average to lead the Broncos. She is the only player on her team to be hitting over .300 and is ranked in the top three in multiple categories in the PCSC including batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage and triples. Fisher is on tap to beat her record in doubles with nine already on the season and also leads the team with three home runs. Newcomer Casandra Padilla also has three home runs and is second on the team with a .294 clip.

On the mound, senior Carissa Theis has three of the team’s six wins. She also leads the staff with a 3.98 ERA, 89.2 innings pitched and 63 strikeouts. Santa Clara has three wins in the PCSC, including two against LMU and one against CSU Bakersfield. The Broncos were swept by Saint Mary’s in their last conference series. Five of their six wins have come at home this season on their new softball field.

Perfect Howell

Senior pitcher Hannah Howell recorded the first perfect game of her career and the second in BYU softball history Saturday against Loyola Marymount. Summer Tobias has the only other perfect game in BYU history against Utah Valley in 2005. Howell pitched a clean five innings to lead the team to an 11-0 victory over the Lions, alongside three strikeouts in the game. Howell earned both wins against LMU on Saturday to save BYU’s run at the NCAA tournament with a series split against the Lions.

This season, Howell has pitched a total of 132.1 innings and compiled a record of 9-14. She has an ERA of 1.50 in conference play to lead the team, with a 5-2 record and 20 strikeouts in seven appearances. Her career record at BYU is 36-25 alongside 328 strikeouts and a 2.95 ERA.

Standout performances

Many of the BYU softball players, apart from Howell's perfect game, had standout performances last weekend in the team's conference series against LMU.

Coco Tauali'i had a career-high and team-high five RBIs in Saturday's first game against the Lions. Tauali'i went 2-for-3 in the game and hit her first home run of the season and career. She also grabbed two RBIs on a single and sacrifice fly in the game.

Madisen Robb was noticed as a top performer in the PCSC for her .455 average and five runs scored last week. She hit her second three-run home run of the season against USU and continued to lead the Cougars offensively against LMU. She had one of the team's three hits Friday and is currently on a career-high four-game hitting streak.

Gordy Bravo knocked BYU's first in-the-park home run of the season in the team's last game against LMU. She also tied her season-high and career-high of three RBIs in that game and had four runs scored on the day.

JC Clayton broke out of her slump on Saturday, going 4-for-6 with two runs scored and three stolen bases.

Where To Watch

All four games against Santa Clara will be available to follow via live stats. Check the BYU softball schedule page for updated information throughout the series.

Jamie Morris is the softball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.

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