Briielle Breland went 4-for-4 from the plate, propelling BYU softball to a 5-4 victory over in-state foe Utah State on Tuesday at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field.
“Our team fought through a slow start and pulled out a tough win tonight,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “Briielle paced us offensively.”
The Cougars (18-18) outhit the Aggies (13-19, 3-6 Mountain West), 12 to seven in the win, led by Breland’s four hits. She had one home run, one double and two singles. Alexa Strid went 3-for-4, while Libby Sugg went 2-for-3. Lexi Tarrow, Bridget Fleener and Brooke Vander Heide had one hit each.
Kerisa Viramontes and Autumn Moffat shared pitching duties, recording three and five strikeouts, respectively, and only walked one batter each. Moffat came in during the bottom of the fifth inning with two runners on and no outs and finished the game.
“Autumn came in to pitch in a tough situation in the fifth,” Eakin said. “She got us out of a jam and shut them down offensively. Great job by Autumn.”
With a full count in the first inning, Breland sent a solo shot over the center field fence to give BYU an early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first frame, Utah State got three runners on base with two bunts and a Cougar fielding error. Brina Buttacavoli then sent a deep double to right field, bringing all runners across for a 3-1 advantage.
BYU added four more runs in the top of the third to go up 5-3. Breland led off with a single to right field before Tarrow sent a single just past the USU shortstop, advancing Breland. Sugg then singled to right field, moving runners up as Breland came across to trail 3-2.
Ashley Godfrey came in as a pinch-runner for Sugg. Strid then singled past the shortstop to advance Tarrow to third, while Godfrey moved to second as the Aggie second baseman dropped the throw from the shortstop. Fleener singled past the second baseman, moving the runners up and bringing in Tarrow to even the score 3-3.
Caitlyn Alldredge hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Godfrey as Strid advanced to third to put the Cougars ahead 4-3. Olivia Sanchez grounded out to the shortstop, allowing Strid to cross the plate and make it 5-3.
The Aggies added their final run in the bottom of the fourth when Baile Trappe homered to center field.
BYU begins conference play at home with a three-game series against Santa Clara this week. The Cougars will play a doubleheader Friday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. MDT, and then again Saturday at 1 p.m.
Both of Friday’s games against the Broncos will be televised on BYUtv, while Saturday’s game will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Live stats will be available for all games on the BYU softball schedule page.