Katie Manuma had a career night to lead BYU to a 14-8 victory over Seattle on Thursday night in the Easton Desert Classic.
“It was a roller coaster win,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “You know, up eight to nothing they come back threatened and then we took over offensively again.”
Manuma was 4-for-5 with three doubles and a home run while earning the win from the mound for the Cougars. The four hits tied her career high against Saint Mary’s last year and her seven RBIs set a new career high. Coco Tauali’i added two solo shots on 2-for-5 hitting, while Carly Duckworth went 2-for-4 with a home run.
The 14 runs scored by the Cougars was a season high and the most since Saint Mary’s last season.
“The offensive production was really good,” Eakin said. “We played solid defense, but we need to get better on the mound. We hurt ourselves by walking people. We need to do a better job protecting the lead by not giving them free bases.”
Tauali’i started things off right for the Cougars with a lead-off home run to deep right center. After that, Duckworth singled up the middle and stole second, and Ashley Thompson walked to put runners on first and second. Manuma then doubled on a line drive to right center to bring both home.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the first and with one out, Lacey Millett-Hofstedt made a diving catch in foul territory and Lauren Bell made a nice backhanded play to throw out the runner at first and end the threat.
With the bases loaded in the top of second McKenzie St. Clair hit a sacrifice fly to right center to bring in Bell and Millett-Hofstedt from second to give BYU the 5-0 lead. Seattle threatened again by getting runners on first and second before McKenna Bull retired three straight to get out of the jam.
Thompson started off the next inning with a blooper to right field which she extended into a double. Manuma then doubled again to bring in Thompson and give BYU the 6-0 lead. BYU loaded the bases and scored two more on a throwing error from the third baseman. Seattle loaded the bases in the bottom of the third and scored its first run on a fielding error to make the score 8-1 heading into the fourth.
Seattle battled back by scoring one on a single before a three-run home run to left field to make it 8-5 in the bottom of the fourth. Thompson came in to relieve Bull with one out in the inning. Seattle scored two more with a single up the middle to close within one heading into the fifth.
The Cougars were held scoreless in the top of the fifth, and the Redhawks put runners on first and third with two outs. Thompson worked out of the jam, striking the batter out, looking to maintain the lead heading into the sixth.
With two outs in the top of the sixth Manuma hit a towering three-run shot over the second fence in left center field to extend the lead to 11-7 heading into the bottom of the frame. Seattle used three straight singles to plate one run in the bottom of the frame before Manuma came in and retired three straight to strand runners on second and third.
Tauali’i and Duckworth led off the seventh inning with back-to-back homers to left centerfield to give the Cougars a 13-8 lead. With runners on first and second, Manuma then doubled to drive in the final run of the game. She retired the side in the bottom of the seventh to close out her night.
BYU returns to action against Portland State on Friday at 1:30 p.m. PST before taking on Chattanooga at 3:45 p.m. PST.
Spencer Shamo is a Communications major at BYU and the BYU softball SID.
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