Hot-hitting early on led BYU to an 11-3 win over Utah Valley in the UCCU Crosstown Clash on Tuesday evening as the Cougars celebrated Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month at Gail Miller Park.
“We’re just in the groove right now,” BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. “The girls are zoning the ball up, getting good pitches, seeing it well and driving it. We’ve been effective offensively the last few weeks. If our pitching holds out, we’ll do good things."
After recording season highs of 18 hits and 18 runs at Southern Utah on Monday, the Cougar (30-20, 8-1 West Coast Conference) bats remained alive against the Wolverines (19-25, 10-4 Western Athletic Conference) to earn the victory in five innings, due to the NCAA eight-run rule.
Seven BYU players combined for 11 hits and 10 RBIs. Libby Sugg went 3-for-3 from the plate, recording a game-high four RBIs and a home run. Alexa Strid also smashed a home run, while Rylee Jensen and Lexi Tarrow each contributed two hits and two RBIs.
Kerisa Viramontes pitched more than four innings with Autumn Moffat finishing the game up in relief for the last out. Viramontes struck out five batters and improved to 16-6 on the year.
BYU escaped the top of the first inning giving up just one run after forcing Utah Valley to strand three runners on base.
Leadoff hitter Jensen got things started for the Cougars with a single up the middle. Jensen advanced to third base off a double to center field from Briielle Breland, setting up a three-run homer from cleanup hitter Sugg to give the Cougars a 3-1 lead.
After the Wolverines walked Caitlyn Alldredge to start the bottom of the second, Brooke Vander Heide reached on a fielder’s choice. Vander Heide stole second before advancing to third off a Jensen groundout. Breland then walked and immediately stole second.
Tarrow drove home Vander Heide and moved Breland up with a single to left field. Tarrow stole second and Breland stole home after two UVU players mishandled the throw to second. Sugg then recorded her third RBI of the day with a double down the right-field line as Tarrow came across the plate.
BYU scored its fourth run of the inning on a single to left center from Bridget Fleener, bringing Sugg in to make it 7-1.
The Wolverines answered with a two-run dinger over the right-field fence in the third frame. The Cougars, however, kept up their offensive momentum in the third, scoring another three runs.
Both Madison Merrell and Alldredge walked before Vander Heide laid down a sacrifice bunt. Jensen then doubled to left center as both runners came across. Tarrow ripped a single down the right-field line, allowing Jensen to cross the plate for a 10-3 advantage.
Strid drilled her fourth home run of the season for BYU's final run of the game.
The Cougars travel to California to take on San Diego this weekend in a three-game series. The teams will first face off on Friday, May 4, at 6 p.m. PDT, before playing a doubleheader on Saturday, May 5, at noon and 2 p.m. A link to live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.