The bats came alive for BYU softball to take down Saint Mary's in a doubleheader at home Friday night as the Cougars won, 9-0 and 4-0.
“It’s nice to win two conference games,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “We played well. In the first game, we came up with big hits when we needed them, and in the second game, we left 11 runners on base, and that’s where we have to improve. But overall, two nice wins and we need to come back tomorrow to take care of them one more time.”
BYU (27-20, 7-1 West Coast Conference) held Saint Mary's (13-29, 1-7 WCC) scoreless in both games, including a five-inning first game, due to the NCAA eight-run rule. The Cougars combined for 18 hits on the day while allowing a total of four hits.
"Our pitchers did a great job," Eakin said. "They threw really well and shut Saint Mary's out both games."
In the bottom of the third, Brooke Vander Heide led off and laid down a bunt to get on base. Rylee Jensen then reached on an error by the SMC second baseman. With one out, Lexi Tarrow walked to advance Jensen to second and put runners in scoring position for Libby Sugg. Sugg delivered with a sacrifice fly to left to bring in BYU's first run of the game and earn her team-leading 52nd RBI.
The Cougar bats brought in eight runs in the fourth frame. Strid opened the inning with a leadoff double to center field and came home the following at-bat as Merrell hit a shot over the center fielder's head to make it 2-0.
Caitlyn Alldredge was hit by a pitch to put another runner on base for BYU. Jensen ripped a ball to left-center to advance Alldredge to third and bring in Merrell for a 3-0 advantage.
Briielle Breland was then beamed to load the bases for Tarrow, who grounded out to second but advanced the runners to make it 4-0 for the Cougars. Fleener rocketed a double to left-center to clear the bases and go up 7-0.
Strid then hit her second double of the inning with a deep ball to left-center to score Fleener. Merrell singled to right field, driving in the final run.
Eight Cougars totaled 10 hits, led by Jensen's perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs. Tarrow also added three RBIs.
Freshman pitcher Autumn Moffat (6-6) recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in seven innings pitched, allowing three hits and no runs.
Jensen led off game two with a liner past the pitcher and advanced to third after a deep double off the wall by Breland. With two runners in scoring position, Tarrow singled down the third-base line and advanced to second on the throw, scoring Jensen and advancing Breland to third for a 1-0 lead.
In the second frame, Alldredge led off with a walk and advanced to second on a bunt by Breland. Jensen stepped up to lay down a sacrifice bunt and advance the runners. Breland was plunked in the following at-bat to load the bases for Tarrow. Tarrow sent a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Alldredge to make it 2-0.
Jensen led off in the sixth with a double down the left-field line and advanced to third on the throw. Breland was then hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners for the Cougars. Tarrow hit a fielder's choice, allowing Jensen to score for a 3-0 advantage. Fleener knocked in Tarrow with a triple down the right-field line for the final run.
BYU will finish the series against Saint Mary's on Saturday at 1 p.m. MDT, at Gail Miller Field. The game will be streamed on theW.tv, and live stats can be found on the Cougars' online schedule.