Cougars Advance in WAC Tournament

Senior Delaney Willard had two doubles and four RBI for BYU in the win over Louisiana Tech.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A trio of doubles and clinical field play gave No. 2-seed BYU softball a 6-1 win over No. 6-seed Louisiana Tech in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament second round on Thursday.

BYU (41-13, 15-4), competing for the first time this week after earning a first-round bye, put together an all-around game to beat the Lady Techsters who run-ruled No. 3-seed Fresno State 17-7 behind five home runs earlier.

"We can play better, but after sitting around waiting to play since Monday we played good enough to win," said BYU coach Gordon Eakin. "If we can clean up a few areas of our game we'll be right where we want to be."

Junior Hannah Howell pitched six innings and struck out seven for her 19th win of the season and the BYU defense held strong, highlighted by a double play from third baseman Ashlee Brawley.

Delaney Willard, named WAC Player of the Year on Wednesday, went 2-for-3 with four RBI, hitting two 2-RBI doubles. All-WAC First Teamer JC Clayton added two hits, two runs and an RBI on a double of her own.

With two outs in the third, the Cougars put the game's first runs on the board when Clayton doubled to left center, scoring Jessica Dugas and Tiffany Messerschmidt. Willard gave BYU back-to-back doubles to score Clayton, giving BYU a 3-0 lead.

Louisiana Tech scored a run off an error in the infield, but another Willard doubled scored Clayton and Messerschmidt again to round out the scoring.

BYU goes on to face No. 1-seed and No. 11-ranked Hawai'i at 2 p.m. MT,  Friday in the winner's bracket of the double-elimination tourney, with the loser playing again Friday evening, while the winner advances to Saturday afternoon. The game will be broadcast live on BYU Radio and online on Hawaii TV. Check the BYU schedule page for links.

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BYU vs. Louisiana Tech Box Score32.07 KB