EUGENE, Ore. — A comeback attempt against No. 11 Oregon came up short for the BYU softball team but the Cougars bounced back to defeat Portland State and set up a rematch in the championship game of the Regional.
BYU (45-14) lost 6-4 to the Ducks but beat Portland State 2-0 in the second game of the day. The Cougars will play Oregon starting Saturday at 12 p.m. PT and will have to beat the Ducks twice in order to advance to the Super Regional.
OREGON 6, BYU 4: After scoring a run on an infield single, Oregon went up 5-0 on a grand slam by Christie Nieto in the third inning to put BYU in an early hole in the Cougars' opening game.
But BYU didn't go down without a fight despite the big deficit and the loss of WAC Player of the Year Delaney Willard, out with a hand injury suffered against Mississippi State on Thursday.
BYU 2, PORTLAND STATE 0: Tori Almond threw the complete game shutout by allowing only two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Almond is 20-3 now this year, becoming the fifth Cougar pitcher to win 20 games in a season and joining Hannah Howell as the first BYU pitching tandem to both win 20 games in the same season.
Dugas went 2 for 3 with a double, a run and an RBI for the Cougars. Toney had a hit and brought in BYU's other run.
BYU will play in the final day of a Regional for the third-straight season.
At Eugene, Ore.
BYU 4, Mississippi State 3
Oregon 7, Portland State 3
Oregon 6, BYU 4
Portland St. 2, Mississippi St. 0, Mississippi State eliminated
BYU 2, Portland State 0, Portland State eliminated
Oregon (41-15) vs. BYU (45-14), 1 p.m.
Rematch, if necessary, 4 p.m.