BYU softball battled back from an early deficit to beat Fresno State, 7-3, in the team’s final day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Saturday.
“Our team came to play tonight after falling behind 3-0 right out of the gate in the first inning,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “Arissa (Paulson) pitched an excellent game. Our defense was strong, and our offense fought our way back.”
After Fresno State (7-6) got on the board early in the top of the first, BYU (6-9) came back by scoring seven unanswered runs on 10 hits. Briielle Breland crushed a home run to right center, her second of the season. Rylee Jensen and Libby Sugg both went 2-for-3 while Alexa Strid went 2-for-4 from the plate.
Paulson kept her composure after a Bulldog batter hit a three-run homer to left center in the first inning and had six strikeouts from the circle. The Cougars responded by scoring one run of their own in each of the first four innings.
Jensen led off for BYU with a walk to start the bottom of the first. Strid singled down the left-field line with two outs, bringing Jensen home to trail 3-1.
In the second frame, Brooke Vander Heide bunted to third base. Jensen then doubled to center, and Vander Heide came across to make it 3-2.
Lexi Tarrow and Sugg hit back-to-back doubles to left field and down the right-field line, respectively. Tarrow crossed home on Sugg’s hit to even it 3-3 in the third.
In the fourth inning, Breland sent a home run to right center to take the 4-3 lead.
Paulson also contributed at the plate with a single to right field in the bottom of the sixth. Ashley Godfrey came in as a pinch-runner for Paulson. After Jensen singled to left field to advance Godfrey to second, Tarrow walked before Sugg singled to right center, driving in both Godfrey and Jensen for a 6-3 advantage. Strid then singled to left center as Tarrow crossed home for the final run.
The Cougars play four games next week at the Husky Classic hosted by Washington in Seattle from March 2-3.