BYU Wins in Final At Bat

Junior JC Clayton had a game-tying triple and scored the game-winning run vs. San Jose State.
PROVO, Utah - BYU shortstop JC Clayton scored on the game-winning run just under the tag at home plate in the bottom of the seventh as the Cougar softball team defeated San Jose State 5-4 on Friday in Western Athletic Conference action.
 
BYU (33-13, 10-4) came back for their seventh walk-off win of the season to edge the Spartans on a hard hit by Katie Manuma with one out in the final inning.

“We have fighters and we have a lot of kids that are clutch players in the lineup,” said BYU coach Gordon Eakin. “I think we need to quit leaving it to the last inning and do it earlier, but when we do we just have kids that are going to fight until the end.”
 
Hannah Howell took the mound in the start and gave up only three earned runs with five strikeouts. Tori Almond came in to relieve Howell and earned the win to improve her record to 12-3.

With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars took the lead on a bizzare play. After a BYU bunt turned into a pop-up out, pinch runner Bailie Hicken had to go back to third. The Spartan pitcher had time to make the throw, but the ball went wide of the third baseman, making Hicken not only safe but enabling her to score and give BYU a 4-3 lead.

BYU turned its sixteenth double play of the season in the top of the sixth when Ashlee Brawlee snagged a hit, tagged the runner coming towards her and threw to first to end the inning.

But up by one with one out to go, San Jose State fought back to tie it on a Michelle Cox double to center field to bring in one run in the top of the seventh before BYU's walk-off.

Clayton had three hits, one RBI and one run scored in the game while Willard had one hit with two RBI for the Cougars.
 
BYU attacked first with two outs in the bottom of the third when Jessica Dugas got her first hit of the game to start the rally for the Cougars. Tiffany Messerschmidt and Clayton followed suit on a walk and Spartan error to load the bases for Delaney Willard. Willard came up big on a hit to left field to bring in the first two runs of the game.
 
San Jose State struck back in the top of the fourth to score three runs off a walk, single and home run to earn the lead.

Clayton then added to the score for BYU in the bottom of the fifth with a triple to bring in Messerschmidt and even the score at 3-3.

BYU will play a doubleheader against the Spartans on Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT.