A complete game propelled BYU softball to a sweep over Saint Mary’s with a 13-1 win Saturday at Gail Miller Field.
“We had a solid day,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “Our pitching excelled, defense was solid, we had timely hits and played a really strong game.”
The Cougars (28-20, 8-1 West Coast Conference) scored 13 runs on 11 hits and stole four bases in five innings while holding the Gaels (13-30, 1-8 WCC) to four hits, due to the NCAA eight-run rule.
Nine different BYU players crossed home with Caitlyn Alldredge, Bridget Fleener and Madison Merrell scoring two runs apiece. Alldredge hit a grand slam and led the team with five RBIs, while Libby Sugg went a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with three RBIs. Rylee Jensen went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Allie Hancock sent a solo shot over the right-field fence for the Cougars’ second home run of the day.
Kerisa Viramontes and Arianna Paulson shared pitching duties. Viramontes tallied four strikeouts with only one run allowed and one walk in three innings. Paulson came in relief and recorded two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the second frame, Sugg led off and walked with a full count. Fleener then reached first on a Saint Mary’s error, advancing Sugg to second. A fielder’s choice got Sugg out at third but allowed Alexa Strid to get on base. Both runners stole bases to advance. Merrell was hit by a pitch to load the bases with just one out. Alldredge stepped up to the plate and with a 3-1 count smashed a grand slam over left field to give BYU a 4-0 lead.
The Gaels answered back in the third with a run of their own. Kimiko Zapanta singled to third and then stole second with Julia McCormack batting. Abbey Mariani then singled to left field, driving in Zapanta to make it 4-1.
The Cougars maintained their momentum in the third, scoring eight runs on eight hits. Tarrow led off with a double down the left-field line. Sugg followed with a single up the middle, reaching second on the throw, scoring Tarrow to put BYU up 5-1.
Fleener walked, forcing Saint Mary’s to put Katlyn Whitt in the circle. Erin Miklus came in as a pinch-runner for Sugg before Strid grounded out to the pitcher, moving the runners up. Miklus beat the throw to home on a bunt from Merrell for a 6-1 advantage. Merrell stole second to put two runners in scoring position.
Alldredge then reached first on a fielder’s choice, advancing Merrell to third and scoring Fleener to make it 7-1. Alldredge stole third before Brooke Vander Heide sent a two-run triple down the right-field line as Alldredge and Merrell came across to give the Cougars a 9-1 lead.
With just one out, Jensen singled up the middle to drive in Vander Heide and make it 10-1. Breland then singled to left field. Sugg singled up the middle, scoring Jensen and Breland, for a 12-1 advantage.
BYU continued to dominate in the bottom of the fourth, as Allie Handcock homered to right field. Saint Mary’s went three up, three down in the fifth to end the game.
The Cougars play a rescheduled game at Southern Utah University on Tuesday, April 30, in Cedar City, Utah. The game begins at 4 p.m. MDT, at Kathryn Berg Field.