PROVO – Big hits at the right time lifted the BYU softball team to a doubleheader sweep of Pacific, beating the Tigers 10-2 and 11-8 in the first two home games of the season at Gail Miller Field Friday night.
"Our bats were alive tonight," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "We executed well and came up with key hits all night. We also played excellent defense. These were good team wins.
Arissa Paulson hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to put the exclamation point on the win in game one, while Olivia Sanchez smoked a ball up the middle in the bottom of the sixth to break an 8-8 tie to score Martha Epenesa from third for the game-winner in the second game of the twin bill.
In the circle, Paulson also pitched 5.1 innings in game two, earning the win after leaving the game in the fifth, but coming back in the sixth to finish. Autumn Moffat earned the win in game one, pitching 5.0 innings, scattering four hits, allowing two runs and striking out six.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jensen singled to right field and later scored on an RBI double by Sugg to add another run to bring the score up to 6-0.
Pacific’s Hailey Reed walked in the top of the fifth inning before the Tigers got on the board from a two-run homer by Jessica Mabrey to make the score 6-2.
The Cougars answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning in a big way after loading the bases for Paulson. Paulson smashed a grand slam over the center field fence to end the game early in a 10-2 walkoff by the NCAA run rule.
- BYU used a five-run third inning to jump out ahead, fueled by a pair of home runs
- The Cougars played error-free softball with solid defense, allowing just four hits and two runs in the game
- Rylee Jensen: 4-4, 3R, 1 triple
- Arissa Paulson: 1-3, 2R with a grand slam
- Marissa Chavez: 2-3 with a three-run homer.
In the top of the fifth, Pacific’s Caity Sung ripped a two-run double to cut the Cougar lead to 5-4. A few moments later, Sung scored on another RBI double by Caitlin Reynolds to tie the game 5-5.
In the bottom half of the inning, Chavez doubled to left center and Brooke Vander Heide scored, while Tarrow took third. A bunt by Alyssa Podhurcak scored Tarrow and soon after Chavez scored on Jensen’s single to center, bringing the score to 8-5.
Pacific wasn’t going away yet as Madison Kahwaty homered with two on to tie the game again at 8-8 in the top of the sixth.
After a leadoff double by Sugg, Epenesa took her place to run and advanced to third after a bunt by Emily Erickson. Epenesa then scored on an RBI single by Sanchez on what proved to be the game winner.
Chavez doubled again to add some insurance, scoring two more runs to make it 11-8 heading into the top of the seventh. After Pacific led off the seventh with a double, Arissa Paulson struck out the next three batters to secure the win.
Game Highlights:1 comment on this story
- Both teams combined for 19 runs and 24 hits, including 10 extra-base hits
- BYU used three different pitchers including Arissa Paulson, who started the game, left in the beginning fifth inning and returned late in the sixth
- Marissa Chavez: 3-4, 4 RBIs, 2 doubles
- Olivia Sanchez: 2-2, 2 RBIs, 1 double
- Lexi Tarrow, 3-3, 3R, 1 RBI
The Cougars remain at home Saturday, April 13, to face Pacific again at 1 p.m. MDT. The game will be streamed on TheW.tv and live stats will be available on the BYU softball schedule page.