In seven innings of work, Nielson did not give up an earned run and allowed only four hits while striking out eight, compared to just three walks. The Cardinal failed to advance a runner to third base the entire game and were only able to get runners to second base on three occasions against Nielson.
With eight more strikeouts on the day, Nielson pushed her school single-season record total to 288 and now has 486 over her career, which is nine shy of tying Janet Womack (1989-92) for third place in school history. She needs to average five strikeouts per game the next two days against Stanford to overtake Womack.
Hoopiiaina went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. She slammed a three-run homer down the left-field line in the second as part of Utah's five-run outburst.
BYU SOFTBALL: At Las Cruces, N.M., a trio of doubles and clinical play in the field gave the No. 2-seed BYU softball team a 6-1 win over the No. 6-seed Louisiana Tech in the second round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
BYU, competing for the first time this week after earning a first-round bye, put together an all-around game to beat the Lady Techsters who run-ruled Fresno State 17-7 behind five home runs earlier.
Junior Hannah Howell pitched six innings and struck out seven for her 19th win of the season and the BYU defense held strong, highlighted by a double play by third baseman Ashlee Brawley.
Delaney Willard, named WAC Player of the Year on Wednesday, went 2 for 3 with four RBIs, hitting two 2-RBI doubles. All-WAC First Teamer JC Clayton added two hits, two runs and an RBI on a double of her own.
With two outs in the third, the Cougars put the game's first runs on the board when Clayton doubled to left center, scoring Jessica Dugas and Tiffany Messerschmidt. Willard gave BYU back-to-back doubles to score Clayton, giving BYU a 3-0 lead.
Louisiana Tech scored a run off an error in the infield, but another Willard doubled scored Clayton and Messerschmidt again to round out the scoring.
BYU goes on to face No. 1-seed and No. 11-ranked Hawai'i at 2 p.m. MT Friday in the winner's bracket.
SUU SOFTBALL: At Kansas City, Mo., the T-Birds opened with a pair of runs in the top of the first, but their bats were silenced the rest of the game as IPFW mounted a comeback and took a 3-2 win in the Summit League tournament.
The first three Thunderbirds recorded hits, including a two-run home run off the bat of Mikkel Griffin to give SUU an early 2-0 lead. The big fly was Griffin's league-leading 12th of the season. However, IPFW starter Miranda Kramer settled down and didn't allow another base runner as she sat down the final 21 batters in order.
The Mastodons also scored in the first, making the most of a Thunderbird error with the unearned run coming around to score on an RBI single by Courtney Cronin. SUU still carried the 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth as Heather Black allowed only one hit over the next three frames. However, a trio of hits in the fifth scored two runs for IPFW and led to the final score of 3-2 for the 'Dons.
The loss puts Southern Utah into the loser's bracket and forces an elimination game against UMKC Friday morning at 11 a.m. The winner of that game will face a second elimination game Friday evening at 5 p.m.
REGION 18 SOFTBALL: At Taylorsville, Southern Nevada took the first game of the day in extra innings over North Idaho 8-7. Snow College easily handled Western Nevada 15-4 and top-seeded SLCC battled to a 3-1 victory over Southern Nevada. Brooke Budge blasted a two-run home run to put Salt Lake up three. Ariel Zimmerman and MaCauley Flint combined for the win.
Southern Idaho outlasted Snow College 5-1 to advance to the semifinal game.
Western Nevada and Southern Nevada will do battle in the losers' bracket Friday at 9:30 am with the winner advancing. At noon, North Idaho will face Snow with the loser going home. The semifinal matchup will start at 2:30 p.m. with SLCC facing Southern Idaho.
BYU GOLF: At Erie, Colo., Maggie Yuan is tied for 70th after a first round 5-over 77 at the NCAA West Regionals.
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