College roundup: BYU softball takes 2 at San Diego Classic

Deseret News

Published: Friday, March 2 2012 9:00 p.m. MST

SANTEE, Calif. — Sophomore pitcher Tori Almond threw a complete game for her first win of the year as the BYU softball team defeated Cal State Northridge, 4-1, then came back to beat Saint Joseph's, 3-2, in extra innings at the San Diego Classic on Friday.

Almond struck out seven with no walks to help the Cougars defeat the Matadors for the second time this season after a previous 11-1 victory at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic.

Junior JC Clayton and sophomore Jenna Goar each hit RBI doubles for BYU while Delaney Willard and Katie Manuma added two hits apiece as BYU earned its 10th win of the season.

Walks from Jessica Dugas and Stacie Toney and a single by Willard quickly loaded the bases in the top of the first, enabling a run to score on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.

Both teams went back and forth over the next four innings scoreless as both Almond and Matador pitcher Mia Pagano continued to retire batters. BYU extended its lead to 2-0 on Clayton's double that scored Alexandra Hudson from second, but Cal State Northridge came right back in the bottom of the inning with a run after three consecutive singles.

Needing a cushion on the one-run lead, Goar stepped up with the bases loaded and two outs. The Littleton, Colo., native didn't disappoint, smacking a two-run double to left, scoring Hudson and Toney to bring BYU's lead up, 4-1.

Almond needed just six pitches in the bottom of the inning to retire the Matadors and end the game for her fifth career complete game.

In its second game at the tournament, BYU answered Saint Joseph's in the sixth and eighth innings, scoring two in the bottom of the eighth to get past the Hawks.

After trading runs in the sixth, Saint Joseph's tacked on another in the eighth on a quick single that brought in the runner placed on second according to international tiebreaker rules.

Hudson answered back for BYU, hitting a single with one out to score Stacy Duckworth from second. After Ashlee Brawley got to first after getting hit by a pitch with two outs, Tiffany Messerschmidt hit an infield grounder. The throw to first sailed on the Hawk pitcher, allowing Hudson to come around for the game-winning run.

Hudson again led the Cougars, hitting 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Sophomore Madisen Robb added the Cougars' other RBI off a two-out single in the sixth with the bases loaded that scored Willard.

Hannah Howell picked up the win in four innings of relief after Caroline Umphlett pitched four shutout innings to start.

The Cougars play Long Beach State at 12:30 p.m. MT and Charlotte at 7:30 p.m. MT on Saturday to close out the San Diego Classic.

SUU 7-5, SAN JOSE STATE 2-4: At San Jose, Calif., Southern Utah University softball swept San Jose State in the opening set of three games between the two teams this weekend. The victories push the Thunderbirds over the .500 mark with an overall record of 8-7 and winners of six of their last seven.

SUU made the most of the long ball in the first game with two home runs, including a three-run dinger off the bat of Madison Resley that gave the Thunderbirds an early 3-0 lead after the second inning. San Jose State countered with two runs in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly and RBI single to trim the margin to 3-2.

Southern Utah kept the pressure on by scoring at least one run in each of the next three innings, beginning with two runs in the top of the third. A pair of singles by Kelsey Bryant and Terysa Dyer coupled with a walk drawn by Kadi Henderson loaded the bases in the inning with no outs on the board. Poor defense on a Resley ground ball on the next at bat scored Bryant from first and left T-Birds on second and third base. An RBI single by Marqi Gray capped the scoring for Southern Utah in the frame.

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