BYU softball: Cougars defeat Boise, lose to Fresno State

By Jamie Morris

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, March 1 2013 7:44 p.m. MST

SAN DIEGO — BYU softball defeated Boise State 8-1 in the San Diego Classic, before a walk-off home run from Fresno State lifted the Bulldogs over the Cougars 5-4 in game two on Friday at the SDSU Softball Stadium.

Game 1

Tori Almond pitched a three-hitter en route to her third win of the season and didn’t allow a hit from the Broncos until the fourth inning. Almond had some help from the BYU offense, who scored eight runs on ten hits in the game. JC Clayton and Katie Manuma combined for five of the ten hits, had three runs scored and three RBIs to lead BYU past Boise State. With the win, BYU improves to 6-11 while Boise State falls to 7-8 on the season.

Clayton went 3 for 4 in the game to improve her hitting streak to a new career-high of 16 games. Manuma also contributed with two hits and a team-high two RBIs to help the Cougars bounce back from their five-inning loss yesterday.

BYU took the lead in the bottom of the first when Clayton singled to start the inning. A passed ball and a sacrifice bunt from Bailie Hicken moved Clayton to third and she scored following a single from Alexandra Hudson Shamo to put BYU up 1-0.

The Cougars struck again in the bottom of the second to provide a four-run cushion for Almond. Clayton brought in the first run with her second single of the day and then Manuma smacked a single to right field to bring in two more runs.

Megan Arnold and Coryn Taualii each doubled in the bottom of the third, but were stranded to end the inning with BYU still up 4-0.

A single from Carly Duckworth highlighted the bottom of the fifth for BYU and led the team to another three runs. The Bronco pitcher also issued four walks in the inning and allowed one run to score on an illegal pitch.

BYU and Boise State scored one run each in the sixth inning, but BYU was able to secure the game in the top of the seventh as Hannah Howell closed out the inning with a strike out for the 8-1 victory.

Game 2

BYU (6-12) gave up three unearned runs on three errors to keep Fresno State (11-8) in the game and allowed them to take the seventh-inning victory. Clayton and Hicken led with two hits apiece while Duckworth brought in two Cougar RBIs. Howell pitched a full seven innings and was given the loss after surrenduring the lead in the bottom of the seventh.

BYU loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first following a single from Hicken, a Bulldog error and a walk to Manuma. Fresno State managed to get the force out at home, but BYU answered behind singles from Arnold and Duckworth to go up 3-0.

Fresno State’s Breanna Moss led off with a single in the bottom of the frame and stole both second and third base before scoring on a BYU throwing error for the unearned run.

A quick double from Madisen Robb and a single from Clayton placed runners on the corners for BYU in the top of the second. Marissa Bravo fouled out to left field, but a heads up play from Robb allowed her to score on a tag up to extend the Cougar lead to 4-1.

The Bulldogs scored one run off a throwing error in the bottom of the third and a fielding error in the bottom of the fourth brought in another unearned run for FSU to cut the BYU lead to 4-3.

BYU held its one-run advantage heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Up to that point, Howell had only given up four hits and no earned runs to the Bulldogs. However, the top of the lineup broke the game open as Moss singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Fresno State's no. 3 batter then smashed her first hit of the day over the fence for the walk-off 5-4 victory.

BYU will finish the San Diego Classic on Saturday with an 11:30 a.m. PST game against New Mexico and then a 2 p.m. PST game against Long Beach State.

Jamie Morris is the softball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.

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