(Editor's note: University of Montana media release)
MISSOULA — Montana senior Maygen McGrath, one of a number of big bats for the Montanan softball team that put up 56 runs in a three-game sweep of Southern Utah over the weekend, has been named the Big Sky Conference co-Player of the Week.
McGrath, who was honored for the second time this season, the fifth time in her career, went 8 for 13 (.615) against the Thunderbirds and had eight RBIs and scored four runs. She had multiple hits and multiple RBIs in all three games.
“Maygen is a phenomenal hitter and competitor, and did a great job with the opportunities that were in front of her,” said coach Melanie Meuchel in a media release, whose team batted .486 in the series and had a .580 on-base percentage, with 28 walks to go with its 51 hits. “She had opportunities to drive in runs because her teammates really set the table in a total team offense that continued to put pressure on all weekend. When the opportunities arose, Maygen stepped up and had some big hits for us, some clutch hits, and was very consistent.”
It was a record-setting weekend for Montana, which opened the series with a 23-7 win on Friday.
The Grizzlies set program and Big Sky records for runs scored, RBIs (22) and walks (16), and established a new program record for margin of victory. Montana also matched a team record for runs in an inning when it put up 10 in the top of the fourth.
McGrath went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. She had a pair of RBI singles and a solo home run.
In Montana’s 14-11, eight-inning win in Game 2, when the Grizzlies rallied from six down after six innings, McGrath finished 3 for 5.
She had a sacrifice fly on the top of the seventh, when Montana scored eight runs, one of 10 innings in the series when the Grizzlies scored multiple runs, and an RBI single in the top of the eighth as Montana pulled away for good.
It was the third-largest deficit overcome in program history.
Montana completed the sweep and improved to 11-1 all-time at Southern Utah’s Kathryn Berg Field with a 19-8 win in Game 3 on Saturday.
McGrath had a solo home run in the top of the third, her ninth of the season, the 34th of her career, her sixth in the last nine games, and a two-run single in the fifth that made it 17-2 on Montana’s way to a 19-8 win.
She finished the finale 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
McGrath, after a slow start to the season, entered March with a batting average of .244. It was .318 at the start of April and now sits at .356, which ranks eighth in the Big Sky. She is tied for fourth in home runs, tied for seventh in RBIs.
Montana is on a season-high four-game winning streak and is 16-16 overall, the first time since its NCAA tournament season of 2017 that the Grizzlies have a record of .500 or better in April.
Montana is 4-2 in league and tied for third with Sacramento State. Both teams trail Weber State and Northern Colorado, which are 3-0 and have had their off weekend from Big Sky games.
Montana hosts Idaho State (17-19, 1-5 BSC) this week at Grizzly Softball Field.