(Photo by BYU Photo)
SALT LAKE CITY – No. 21 BYU softball’s season ended in a 14-0 loss to No. 16/17 Utah in six innings in the NCAA Salt Lake City Regional on Saturday.
BYU (46-13) ends one of its most successful seasons in program history with the loss to in-state rival Utah (36-14). The Cougars allowed 14 runs on 17 hits, both season-highs for an opponent. The loss was BYU's largest margin of defeat since falling 22-5 against Oregon State in 2012.
Senior Lauren Bell went 3 for 3 in her final game at BYU. Lexi Tarrow, Libby Sugg and Ashley Thompson each had one hit in the game.
BYU vs. Utah Box Score
A couple of Cougar miscues in the top of the first allowed the Utes to get up 2-0 early. A rare wild pitch from McKenna Bull gave the first runner time to get home before a sacrifice fly scored the second run.
After BYU failed to capitalize with Bell and Tarrow on first and second in the bottom of the first, Utah homered in the top of the second, making it 3-0.
In the top of the third, the Cougars gave up two more runs. The first was scored off of a single, the second off of a walk with the bases loaded. However, Arissa Paulson, in for Bull, notched a strikeout and a groundout to keep three Utah runners stranded with the deficit 5-0.
The Utes tacked on one more in the top of the fourth with an RBI sacrifice bunt, as the runner dodged the tag from Caitlyn Larsen Alldredge. Paulson struck out another to end the frame and BYU headed into the bottom of the fourth down 6-0.
The game got away from the Cougars in the top of the sixth when the Utes tallied eight runs to take a commanding 14-0 lead. Arianna Paulson and Kerisa Viramontes came in for relief in the inning, finally getting the third out on a grounder to Alldredge.
Bell got a hit in the final frame, but the effort fell short as BYU lost 14-0 in six innings.