Tori Almond threw eight strikeouts for BYU at No. 11 Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
EUGENE, Ore. - Junior Tori Almond struck out eight for the BYU softball team but No. 11 Oregon used a big inning to beat the Cougars 4-1 and eliminate BYU from the NCAA Tournament.
BYU finishes with a record of 45-15, tied for the second-most wins in program history, one shy of the 2010 team's 46 victories.
Pitching her second-straight complete game, Almond kept the Cougars in the game, but as was the case in the two teams' previous matchup on Friday, a single big inning for Oregon proved to be the difference.
With a runner on second and one out, Oregon's Allie Burger put down a bunt. Cougar first baseman Katie Manuma made a good throw to second baseman Stacie Toney covering the bag that looked like it was there well before the runner, but Burger was called safe.
Instead of the ensuing Duck batter's pop-up being the third out, the safe call at first gave Oregon star hitter Samantha Pappas a chance to hit and she delivered with a two-RBI double. One pitch later, two more runs came in on a home run to give the Ducks a 4-0 lead.
"The breaks just didn't go our way, and when they went Oregon's way they took advantage," said BYU coach Gordon Eakin.
BYU scored its only run in the bottom of the fifth, with Jessica Dugas scoring from second base on an RBI single by JC Clayton.
Six different Cougars tallied a hit as BYU out-hit Oregon, 6-5.
Eugene Regional All-Tournament Team
C - Kaili Smith, Mississippi State
C - Shelbi Everett, BYU
1B - Karmen Holladay, Portland State
2B - Kaylan Howard, Oregon
3B - Ashlee Brawley, BYU
OF - Jessica Dugas, BYU
OF - Samantha Pappas, Oregon
OF - Janie Takeda, Oregon
UT/DP - Christie Nieto, Oregon
P - Jessica Moore*, Oregon
P - Tori Almond, BYU