BASEBALL: At Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, freshman Tanner Chauncey escaped an eighth-inning rundown Friday as BYU defeated the Dominican Republic Royals' club team, 4-3.
Chauncey avoided the tag at home as BYU swept the four-game series against teams from the Dominican in a week-long tour. Then it was up to Cougar reliever Marc Oslund to snuff out the Royals' rally with a runner at second in the ninth. Oslund retired consecutive pinch hitters, garnering the newly-returned missionary a save.
BYU took a 4-2 lead into the final inning. In the eighth, BYU's Christian Mua led off with a single, stole second and was thrown out at the plate off Austin Halls single. Chauncey got aboard on an error by the shortstop, which allowed Hall to score after rounding third hard. Robinson walked and then Whitney singled to the hole where the shortstop's only play was to go home in an effort to stop Chauncey..
"I thought today was really the best ball game we played down here," said BYU coach Vance Law. "The Royals played well and they put us in a position where we had to really scrap.
"Our pitching staff picked each other up and did a great job. Matt Milke came in and did a nice job for a few innings. Cameron Keysor pitched himself out of a real tough jam. Matt Hutchings, in his first outing ever as a Cougar, got a big out for us. And then Oslund came in and cleaned things up. It was a good performance on the mound. Defensively I thought we were able to make some really great plays as well."
Without a single extra base hit in the game, BYU had to generate offense.
Starting BYU pitcher Adam Miller dominated the first inning, then couldn't find the strike zone in the second when multiple walks and a wild pitch led to a pair of Royal runs.
In the fourth, Chauncey led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on Dillon Robinson's single to center and scored off Brock Whitney's centerfield single. Robinson advanced to third on Whitney's single and tied the game on Wes Guenther's right field single.
Freshman Cameron Keysor, who came into the game in the seventh, ended up being the winning pitcher.
"Our team has been playing well and working hard," said Oslund, who relieved Keysor. "The team was battling and I wanted to come in and get the win. It felt great to do that and close the game out."
BYU used five pitchers against the Royals, with newly-returned missionary Miller starting, then being replaced by JC transfer Matt Milke and freshmen Keysor and Matt Hutchings before Oslund sealed the game.
"All in all, it was a very good week down here," said Law. "I think that we accomplished what we wanted. We have a lot of guys that got a lot of playing time and as coaches we have a chance to evaluate them now when we get back.
"I'm very pleased with the way our guys have been playing and the way they've acted off the field with the firesides and service projects we've done. It's been an unbelievable week and I'm sure it's one they'll never forget. The competition here was good, but we were that much better."
SOFTBALL: The team has signed nine players to National Letters of Intent, head coach Tina Johnson has announced.
Rudi Barrios, Dusti Blair, Jessica Chaulklin, Jessica Craner, Brooke Ford, Lindsey Kamphuis, Krystin Kubo, Jazmine Thompson, and Millilani Vanta have each signed to compete for the Wildcats, beginning in the spring of 2013.
Barrios is a 5-foot-5 middle infielder/outfielder from Upland, Calif., where she played for Upland High School and the SoCal Fillys. She is a four-year letterwinner in softball, and was named to the All-Baseline League second team and received the coaches' award in 2011. She was named all-CIF honorable mention in 2010, and her team won the Baseline League and CIF Division 2 championship in 2009. She intends to major in Athletic Therapy at Weber State.
Blair is a 5-foot-4 infielder/outfielder from Vancouver, Wash., where she played for the Vancouver School of Art and Academics, Hudson Bay High School and the Northwest Sidewinders Gold. She was named second team All-League as a sophomore and junior, and is a three-time member of the Academic All-Conference team, earning the WIAA Distinguished Scholastic Award three times. As a junior in 2011, she led her team with a .583 batting average and a .746 On-Base Percentage. Blair intends to major in Art Education with a minor in Physical Education/Coaching.
Chaulkin is a 5-foot-3 outfielder/infielder from San Jose, Calif., where she played Leland High School and the San Jose Sting. She was twice named to the All-Blossom Valley Athletic League team, earning first team honors in 2010 and second team honors in 2011. She is a four-year letterwinner, starting at 3rd base. Chaulklin has three sisters currently playing collegiate softball, and is currently undecided on her major.
Craner is a 5-foot-3 infielder/outfield from Corinne, Utah, who joins Weber State as a junior college transfer from Snow College. She played her high school softball at Box Elder High School in Brigham City, Utah, and was a member of the Bees' 2006 state 4-A championship team, earning All-Area honors from the Standard-Examiner in 2008 and 2009. Craner intends to major in Athletic Training at WSU
Ford is a 5-foot-9 infielder from Salem, Utah, where she played for Salem Hills High School. She was named first team All-State as a freshman, second team All-State as a sophomore and junior, and was a first-team All-Region selection all three seasons. Ford is a three-sport letterwinning, playing soccer, basketball and softball for the Skyhawks. Ford intends to major in Anthropology at Weber State.
Kamphuis is a 5-foot-11 pitcher from Kennewick, Wash., where she played for Kamiakin High School and the Washington Explosion. She was named first team All-Conference in 2009-11, first team All-Region in 2010-11 and first team All-State in 2011, and earned the All-Conference MVP as an offensive player and all over as a junior. She also had four perfect games as a junior. Kamphuis intends to major in Special Education at Weber State.
Kubo is a 5-foot-6 outfielder/infielder from Waipahu, Hawaii, where she played for Leilehua High School and Kaikamahine. She is a four-year letterwinner in volleyball and softball, was named to the OIA west all-star first team in 2011, and earned second team honors in 2009 and 2010. She was also named first team all-state in 2011. Kubo plans to major in Pre-Dentistry at Weber State, and intends to attend dental school following graduation.
Thompson is a 5-foot-7 outfielder from Riverside, Calif., where she played for Riverside Christian High School and Minors Gold. She led her team in stolen bases as a sophomore and junior. She had a .359 batting average and scored 37 runs, with eight RBIs as a junior, helping to lead her high school team to a 10-0 record in league play. Thompson intends to major in Political Science at Weber State, with plans to enroll in law school following graduation.
Vanta is 5-foot-4 utility player from San Diego, Calif, where she played for Mira Mesa High School and The Next Level. She was named to the Eastern League first team in 2009 and 2010, and named to the all CIF Division I second team in 2010, and Eastern League second team in 2011. Her club teams competed in the ASA nationals from 2003-07 and 2010-11, winning the 16U ASA title this past summer.