A career day for Lacey Hofstedt led BYU softball to a 13-2 win over Utah State on Tuesday afternoon at Johnson Field.
Hofstedt cashed in for a career-high five RBIs in the game on 2-for-2 hitting.
"We just wanted to play solid in all areas — pitching, defense and hitting," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "We wanted to execute in our short game, get in multiple players and get Ashley Thompson some time in the circle. It was a good day."
The Cougars scored in every one of the five innings, improving to 22-8 for their best non-conference start since 2010.
Sydney Broderick hit her fourth home run of the year and second in two games while going 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the game. Sophomore McKenzie St. Clair shined at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and her first home run of the season.
Pitcher McKenna Bull notched her 20th victory of the season, allowing one hit and one run while striking out two batters in three innings of work. Thompson also threw two innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits.
BYU got on the board early in the top of the first against the Aggies (11-22) as Gordy Bravo scored on an error by the catcher after reaching base on a bloop single.
After retiring the side, the Cougars built a lead by scoring four runs on four hits. Hofstedt singled through the left side, scoring both runners while advancing to second on the throw for the 3-0 lead. Bravo then doubled down the right-field line to score Hofstedt to tack on another. Two batters later, O’Connor’s two-out RBI single to left field scored Bravo for the 5-0 tally before the inning ended.
BYU retired the side again before adding another run in the top of the third. Hofstedt was hit by a pitch with bases loaded, upping the score to 6-0. It is the second game of her career with three or more RBIs.
The Aggies broke onto the scoreboard in the bottom half of the third inning. Nicole Arata led off, reaching base on a hit by pitch. She later scored on the first USU hit of the game, cutting the lead to 6-1.
The Cougars churned out another five runs in the top of the fourth. Broderick blasted her fourth home run of the season — a three-run shot for the 9-1 advantage.
Later in the inning, Hofstedt found the gap up the middle for a two-run single, increasing her RBI total to five for the game as BYU led 11-1.
In the top of the fifth frame, the Cougars added two more for the 13-1 lead as St. Clair belted her first homer of the year, a two-run opposite-field shot to right.
Utah State put a couple of runners on in the bottom of the fifth, eventually scoring before stranding two runners when the game ended, 13-2.
BYU commences its defense of the inaugural West Coast Conference championship this weekend against Saint Mary’s in Moraga, California.
"Everybody will tell you that defending a conference championship is difficult," Eakin said. "Everybody every day is gunning for you. They’re throwing their best and bringing their 'A' game. They really want to knock you off. Our conference has some teams that can do that. We just want to make sure we don’t let our guard down, that we play strong every inning, every pitch, one pitch at a time and not take anything for granted."
Links to live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.
McKay Perry is the sports information director for BYU softball and an assistant sports information director for BYU football. Contact him at [email protected]