LOS ANGELES – BYU softball earned wins in two intensely contested games against Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon to open West Coast Conference play with the series victory.
"After a tough loss yesterday to open the series, we played two complete games today in a very intense environment," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "Both Autumn Moffat and Arissa Paulson pitched great games, our defense was stellar and we made great adjustments offensively throughout each of the two games. It was a great team effort."
- BYU (16-19, 2-1) came from behind to win the game against LMU (24-16, 1-2 WCC), scoring two runs in the top of the seventh inning
- The Cougars’ defense battled with two diving catches in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win for BYU
- The Lions were held scoreless for four straight innings after scoring their second run in the bottom of the third
- Brooke Vander Heide: 2-3, 1R, 1 RBI
- Autumn Moffat: W (7-10), 7.0 IP, 2R, 0BB, 1K
- Lexi Tarrow: 1-2, 1R
With the game tied in the top of the seventh, leadoff hitter Tarrow singled to right field to get BYU on base. Moffat advanced her to second on a sacrifice bunt, before a wild pitch sent Tarrow to third. After LMU switched pitchers, Marissa Chavez drew a walk.
With two outs, Vander Heide hit a ball to the shortstop, tallying a controversial single to score Tarrow. Both LMU coaches were ejected after arguing with the umpires, but the call stood. With Rylee Jensen batting, Vander Heide stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error while Chavez made it across the plate to make the score 4-2.
A diving catch from Jensen followed by a sliding snag from center fielder Vander Heide ended the game in BYU’s favor 4-2.
LMU put up the first run of the game as a Jensen caught a foul ball in left field but couldn’t get the ball in fast enough as the runner on third made it home.
Vander Heide boosted the Cougars’ momentum, hitting the ball to the shortstop and beating out the throw to get to first base. Jensen followed, drawing a walk. With two outs on the board, Taylei Williams sent a double to the back wall, bringing both Vander Heide and Jensen home to take the lead 2-1.
LMU answered back with a homer to left field to tie the game in the bottom of the third frame before BYU secured the victory in the seventh.
- Paulson tallied a career-high 10 strikeouts while also tying her career-best in runs and at-bats with two and four, respectively.
- LMU committed eight errors throughout the game and BYU capitalized, scoring four runs on the errors
- BYU came back to win for the second time in the day after the Lions scored in the first inning.
- Arissa Paulson: W (7-7), 7.0 IP, 11K, 5H, 1R, 0BB,
- Arissa Paulson: 2-4, 2R, 1 RBI
- Taylei Williams: 2-3, 1R, 1 RBI
In the second game, LMU again scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning.Comment on this story
But BYU scored three runs in the top of the third on three Lion errors. Williams, Erickson and Paulson all made it home. The Cougars tacked on another run in the top of the fourth as Williams hit a fly ball to center field to send Vander Heide across the plate to take a 4-1 lead.
Another error in the top of the fifth brought Paulson home for her second run of the day as BYU increased its lead to 5-1.
The Lions went three-and-out in the bottom of the seventh inning as Paulson struck out two of the three batters to give BYU the win, 5-1.
The Cougars will play their final away game before a 10-game homestand against Utah State on Tuesday, April 9 in Logan. The game is slated for 4 p.m. MT at Johnson Softball Field.