BYU/UVU roundup: Cougar softball hits five home runs to beat UVU
Courtesy of five home runs, BYU softball defeated Utah Valley University 10-5 at Wolverine Softball Field on Wednesday evening, extending its winning streak to 10 for a 35-10 overall record.
The Cougars’ five home runs in a single game are tied for the second-most in program history and most since hitting five long balls against Dixie State on May 10, 2021.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Violet Zavodnik stepped up to the plate and hit her first home run of the game with a solo shot down the right field line to give BYU a 1-0 lead. Back-to-back doubles from Huntyr Ava and Alyssa Podhurcak extended the lead before a Marissa Chavez single up the middle made it 3-0 after one complete in Orem.
In the top of the third inning, BYU doubled its score with three more runs. Zavodnik led with a triple down the line of left field and later scored off of Ava’s RBI single up the middle. WCC Player of the Week Chavez then hit a two-run homer to left center, with Ava’s pinch runner Taryn Lennon also scoring on the play for a 6-0 lead.
UVU made it a close game by scoring four runs, all unearned, in the bottom of the third. After a single by Jaeden Barajas, Danye Albritton grounded a ball to BYU’s shortstop Podhurcak who experienced a fielding error. Laynee Betancur was walked by BYU’s starting pitcher Autumn Moffat-Korth, and with the bases-loaded, an RBI single to left field earned UVU its first run. After UVU tallied two more hits and three runs, with two walks by Moffat-Korth, Chloe Temples entered the circle for BYU. Temples and struck out her first batter to close the inning at 6-4.
In the top of the fifth inning, BYU had three back-to-back-to-back solo homers. Zavodnik got her second of the day, with two more bombs by Ava and Podhurcak to extend the lead to 9-4. Podhurcak’s homer was BYU’s fifth of the day, taking its season total to 53.
The Wolverines went three up three down for the third time of the day in the bottom of the fifth, keeping the score at 9-4 for BYU.
Epenesa secured BYU’s 10th run of the day off an RBI single to center field by Ava.
UVU had one more run in the bottom of the seventh, with a solo shot by Rylee Thorpe, but no more of her teammates got on base and the game ended at 10-5.
With four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings pitched, Temples earned her 13th win of the season.
Up next, BYU will travel to California for its last conference road series of the season against Pacific University. Its first games will be on Friday with a doubleheader at 4 and 6 p.m. PDT. All games will be streaming on the WCC Network.
BYU men’s golf headed to NCAA Stockton Regional
BYU men’s golf was selected by the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee to compete in the Stockton Regional of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, May 15-18.
“The goal is to play at the NCAA Championship every year, so we are really excited about the opportunity to make that happen,” said BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank. “We’re at a great regional that will be really competitive and we play a lot of our college golf on the west coast, so its a great opportunity to go play well on a course that we are familiar with.”
At the regional, the Cougars will take on Arizona State, Washington, Stanford, LSU , Oregon, Nevada, Liberty, UAB, Houston, UC Davis, Denver, Abilene Christian and Weber State for the right to play for the national championship.
There were 81 teams and 45 individual participants selected on Wednesday to compete in the six regionals around the country. The top five teams and top individual (not on an advancing team) will move from the regional to Scottsdale, Arizona, to compete for the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship on May 27-June 1 at Grahawk Golf Club.
After narrowly missing out on a regional invitation last year, the Cougars put together a resume in 2021-22 that earned them a regional bid for the seven time in the last eight NCAA Regionals. BYU finished in the top-5 in 7-of-12 events this season while recording two team victories.
The two BYU wins bookend the 2021-22 regular-season campaign with a 19-shot victory at the William H. Tucker Invitational to start the season and a 7-shot victory at the PING Cougar Classic two weeks ago.
“I’m excited for our guys to get a chance to play in the NCAA tournament as Carson is the only player on our current squad that has had that opportunity,” said BYU director of golf Todd Miller. “We’ve played in the University of the Pacific’s tournament nine out of the last ten years and have found success in Stockton. We’ll need to play great golf to move on, but I know our guys are capable of doing that.”
The Stockton Regional will be played at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, California, and will be hosted by the University of the Pacific. The 7,132-yard championship course was given a 4.5 star rating in Golf Digest’s “places to play” and was designed by Andy Raugust in 1999.
The Cougars finished runner-up at the WCC Championship last week, finishing five shots back of defending national champion Pepperdine.
UVU men’s basketball adds Ken Moses to the staff
Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen has announced that Ken Moses has joined the men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach.
“Ken Moses is a tremendous individual who has brought a winning mentality to every team he has been a part of,” said Madsen. “In particular, Montana State just completed one of their best seasons in school history under head coach Danny Sprinkle and Ken was a key contributor to the team’s success. Ken has a deep and expansive knowledge of basketball and possesses all the qualities of a future head coach. He is a tireless recruiter who easily builds strong relationships with young men of all backgrounds. Ken is a leader of men who will be an integral part of the Utah Valley University family. I am excited to welcome Ken to Orem Utah and the family environment here in the valley.”
Moses joins the Utah Valley staff after working two seasons (2020-22) as an assistant coach at Montana State. This past season (2021-22), Moses helped the Bobcats to a 27-8 record, a Big Sky Conference regular season championship, a Big Sky Tournament title, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Moses spent the 2019-20 season at Southern Illinois as the Salukis’ Director of Operations. In his lone season on staff at SIU, Moses helped the Salukis turn into one of the nation’s best underdog stories. SIU, which was picked last in the MVC preseason poll, won 16 games and 10 conference games – the best-ever for a team picked last in its preseason poll.
Prior to SIU, Moses worked two years at NJCAA Division I Missouri State University West Plains (2017-19). The Grizzlies were 45-21 during his two seasons and won the 2018 Region XVI Championship. He coached two All-Americans at West Plains. Six players earned All-Region recognition – including one Region Player of the Year – and the Grizzlies won 68 percent of their games.
Moses served a combined four years as a graduate assistant and assistant coach at NCAA Division II Nebraska-Kearney (2013-17). Moses coached one All-American, six all-conference players and one player of the year with the Lopes as the program went 74-44 in his tenure.
A native of Honolulu, Moses began his coaching career as an assistant for three seasons at his alma mater, Colorado State University Pueblo (2010-13). He was a four-year letter winner at CSU Pueblo and a team captain during the 2009-10 season.